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. 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.