What is radiotherapy?
Radiotherapy is a painless procedure which uses radiation, usually high energy x-rays, but sometimes, electrons, and more rarely protons, to treat disease. It can cure many cancers by destroying the tumour or stopping it from growing any further.
It is often used before surgery to reduce the size of a tumour prior to removal, or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may be left behind. In some cases the cancer cannot be cured, but radiotherapy can be used to slow its growth and to manage and reduce cancer symptoms.
The radiotherapy treatment which is given to destroy and potentially cure a cancer is called radical or curative radiotherapy. Some benign (non-cancerous) conditions can also be treated using radiotherapy.
Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells causing them to stop growing or die. Normal cells are also affected by radiation, but they are better at repairing themselves than cancerous cells.
Cancer Partners UK uses advanced forms of radiotherapy which use sophisticated technology to more accurately target treatment. This level of precision reduces the amount of normal cells being affected, while maintaining a maximum dose to the treatment area.
What to expect
Click here for more information on what to expect when receiving radiotherapy treatment, including available support and details such as the length and complexity of the treatment.