Radiotherapy is offered as part of the treatment plan for some cancers. This treatment delivers focused radiation to the patient in the forms of photons (X-rays) and electrons, with the aiming of killing diseased cells. Each patient is individually assessed and the target beam shaped to include just the cancer cells with a small margin in case of microscopic spread, thus avoiding damage to normal tissues and organs.
Courses of radiotherapy are usually given over a number of weeks. Rather than giving one very large dose, radiotherapy is split into a number of smaller doses to ensure less damage is done to normal cells, and to allow recovery of healthy cells between treatments. Treatments are usually carried out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. All patients require a general anaesthetic to ensure accurate positioning and are fully monitored at all times.
Referrals for radiotherapy are usually managed through our oncology service.