Frequently asked questions

What is radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy means the use of radiation, usually x-rays, to treat cancer cells. You might have radiotherapy from inside the body, this is called internal radiotherapy. Or external radiotherapy is from outside of the body. 

Radiotherapy can be used to try to cure cancer, reduce the chance of cancer coming back or to help relieve symptoms. You might have it by itself or with other treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery.

Are there different types of radiotherapy?

Internal radiotherapy gives radiation from inside the body. There are different types of internal radiotherapy treatments, such as nuclear medicine (radioactive liquids) or brachytherapy (radioactive implants). The type you have depends on your cancer type and where it is in your body.

External radiotherapy uses a machine outside the body to direct radiation beams at cancer to destroy it.

How long will my treatment take each day?

Appointments can take between 20-45 minutes each day.

What are the side effects of receiving radiotherapy?

Your doctor will ensure you are fully informed about the potential side effects associated with your treatment. At any point, before or during your treatment, you will be able to ask any questions to radiographers, nurse clinicians or a doctor.