Radiation therapy is employed to kill cancer cells. Gamma rays, charged particles, and X-rays are different types of radiation used in the treatment of several types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA. Radiation therapies differ from one another based on the mode of delivery of X-rays or electron beams onto the patient’s tumor. In the external-beam radiation therapy, radiation is delivered outside the patient’s body by a machine. In the internal radiation therapy, radiation coming from the radioactive material is placed inside the body near cancer cells. The external-beam radiation therapy is delivered by using a machine called linear accelerator. Radiation therapy is aimed to control the growth of the tumor while minimizing the exposure to the surrounding tissue, which is normal and healthy. Radiation therapy is used either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, between 2007 and 2020, the number of deaths caused by cancer is expected to increase by 15.2% in men and 8.1% in women.
Factors such as increasing government funding for cancer treatment, rising incidence of cancer worldwide, growing awareness about cancer, increasing geriatric population, and raising standards of living are fueling the radiation therapy market. World Health Organization has declared October as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month all over the world to increase attention and support for awareness about cancer and its early detection and treatment as well as palliative care. Launch of new products and technological advancements in imaging modalities are other factors augmenting the global radiation therapy market. Recent advancements in radiation therapy are facilitating the progress from 2-dimensional imaging to 4-dimensional imaging and providing more targeted treatment. On the other hand, high installation cost of radiation therapy and barely affordable service in developing countries may hinder the radiation therapy market in the near future.
The radiation therapy market has been segmented based on therapy type, end-user, and geography. In terms of therapy type, the market has been classified into external-beam radiation therapy, internal radiation therapy, and systemic radiation therapy. The external-beam radiation therapy segment has been sub-divided into 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), tomotherapy, proton therapy, and others. The internal radiation therapy segment has been sub-segmented into low-dose-rate treatment and high-dose-rate treatment. In terms of end-user, the radiation therapy market has been divided into hospitals, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and others.
Geographically, the radiation therapy market has been segregated into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America dominates the global radiation therapy market, due to technological advancements, large number of patients led by unhealthy lifestyle, and presence of developed economies in the region. According to a recent study by the American Cancer Society of Epidemiologists, in 2016, about 188,800 of the estimated 595,690 cancer deaths in the U.S. were caused by cigarette smoking. Factors such as increasing research and development of cancer treatment and rising alcohol consumption among the people in Europe make Europe the second-largest market for radiation therapy. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a high rate during the forecast period, due to increasing health care expenditure, government initiatives, developing medical tourism, and growing awareness among people in the region. According to Elsevier Inc., in India, breast cancer is a growing epidemic condition and it may kill 76,000 women per year by 2020.
Major players operating in the market for radiation therapy include Varian Medical Systems, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mevion Medical Systems, Provision Healthcare, LLC, Panacea Medical Technologies Pvt. Ltd., and Accuray Incorporated Nordion (Canada) Inc.
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