Guide to Superficial X-Ray Therapy
What is X-Ray Therapy?
X-Ray therapy describes the technique of using X-Ray to treat, rather than diagnose illness. The types of X-Rays used today are mostly electrically produced using special types of Radiotherapy Machines rather than using live sources of radiation such as radium which was commonly used in the early days of radiotherapy.
There are different intensities of X-Rays which can be used for different purposes. Low energy or kilovoltage X-Rays are commonly used to take X-Ray images or Computerised Tomography (CT) images to diagnose an injury or illness, whilst the properties of higher X-Ray energies can be used beneficially to treat certain conditions. Generally speaking, the higher the energy of the X-Rays the more penetrative power they have and can therefore be used to target and treat different parts of the body.
What is Superficial X-Ray Therapy used for?
Grenz and Superficial Therapy use low energy kilovoltage X-Rays which treat the skin and first few superficial layers of tissue. The types of condition which may be treated with Superficial X-Rays include certain types of skin cancer and some severe dermatological conditions.
Low energy X-Rays are used to treat such conditions for two main reasons, firstly the maximum dose is deposited on the surface of the skin, right where it is needed. Secondly, as the energies used are quite low or �superficial�, the deeper tissues and structures near the area being treated are less likely to receive any significant radiation.
To see whether Superficial X-Ray Therapy is the right treatment for your condition, please consult your physician.
Other Types of Treatment
There are many different treatment options your doctor may discuss with you depending on your particular condition. These may include surgery, laser therapy or topical treatments. You should discuss all of the options available to you with your physician to decide on the best option for you.
For further information you may find the following websites useful:
Skin Cancer Foundation:
British Skin Foundation:
RT Answers presented by ASTRO:
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