The following information by Dr YLM entitled “Radiation Treatment” (Fit4Life, The Star, 16 January 2011) are useful.
Radioterapy has nothing to do with radio waves.
The “radio” means “radiation”.
Radiotherapy is short of radiation therapy.
It uses high-energy radiation targeted at the area where the cancer is.
Radiotherapy is also used when the cancer is incurable. Here, it is to relieve the symptoms and suffering at he final stages, as in allowing the patient to breathe properly, eat and drink, or to relieve pain.
The waves used are x-rays, gamma rays, and charged particles.
These are delivered by a machine which can be placed outside your body (called external-beam radiation therapy), or through radioactive material placed inside your body (called internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy) near the cancer cells.
There is also systemic radiation therapy where radioactive substances such as radioactive iodine is injected in your blood or given orally, where they travel to the organ where the the cancer is to kill the cancer cells. An example of this treatment involves thyroid cancer.
Radiation damages the DNA of the cancer cells, or creates charged particles called free radicals within them, which in turn damages the DNA of the cancer cells.
Radiation can kill a whole lot more living cells other than cancer cells!
Of our normal issues that are most easily damaged by radiation, our reproduction organs (ovaries, testicles) are the foremost.