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radiation therapy (RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)

The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources
to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body
(external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body
near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive
substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues
throughout the body. Also called irradiation and radiotherapy.

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