Radiation therapy is used to fight many types of cancer. Radiation targets rapidly dividing cells like cancer cells. Radiation prevents cell division and the replication of DNA (the genetic building blocks).
Review Date 6/23/2019
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.