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Introduction to radiation therapy



Currently, about one in three people will develop cancer during their lifetime. With the incidence of cardiovascular diseases declining and life expectancy increasing by more than one month per year, the prevalence of cancer is increasing. In the near future, cancer will replace cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death. According to current German statistics, approximately 500,000 people develop cancer every year. (Figure 1).
 
Roughly half of all malignant tumors are surgically removed, while another 40% (versus 50% in the USA) are treated with radiotherapy; 27% of such tumors are treated with radiotherapy only, and 13% of patients undergo combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Surgery and radiotherapy are local procedures,while chemotherapy and immunotherapy are systemic procedures that affect the entire body. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy constitute the sole method of treatment in only about 10% of all cancer patients.

 

Learn more about systemic therapy and local cancer therapy options.

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