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Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy


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Radiation Therapy

A circle of young boys wearing protective goggles, are subjected to radiation therapy, using ultra violet light. Date: early 1930s

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 14100329

© Mary Evans Picture Library

Alternative Circle Goggles Hands Protective Radiation Subjected Therapy Ultra Violet


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative image captures a poignant moment in medical history, as a circle of young boys bravely undergo radiation therapy during the early 1930s. The boys, dressed in simple clothing and wearing protective goggles, are arranged in a circle as they are exposed to the healing rays of ultra-violet light. The use of radiation therapy in the treatment of various medical conditions was still a relatively new and experimental treatment during this time, and the potential risks and benefits were not yet fully understood. Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a form of medical treatment that uses ionizing radiation to destroy or damage the DNA of malignant cells, thereby inhibiting their ability to reproduce and spread. The use of radiation for therapeutic purposes dates back to the late 19th century, but it was not until the discovery of X-rays in 1895 that the potential therapeutic applications of radiation became apparent. During the early 1930s, radiation therapy was primarily used to treat skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as certain types of cancer. The use of ultra-violet light, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation, was particularly effective in treating skin conditions. The boys in this image are likely undergoing treatment for one of these conditions, and their protective goggles are designed to shield their eyes from the harmful effects of the radiation. Despite the risks and uncertainties associated with radiation therapy during this era, the boys in this image display a remarkable sense of resilience and determination. Their hands are held out in front of them, as if in a show of solidarity and support for one another, while their expressions suggest a mixture of apprehension and hope. This powerful image serves as a reminder of the courage and determination of those who have undergone medical treatments, both past and present, and the advances in medical science that have made such treatments possible.

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