One of the treatment options is known as radiation oncology, or more commonly, radiation therapy. Radiation therapy uses high energy radiation rays or particles to treat cancer and control the symptoms caused by cancer. On your first day of treatment a radiation therapist will talk to you about what to expect. They will give you advice and written information on how to manage treatment side effects. Radiation therapists are always available to answer any questions or concerns about your treatment or side effects.
Cancer can be treated with different types of radiation therapy, including external radiation therapy, brachytherapy and systemic radiation therapy.
External radiation therapy uses a machine that points a radiation beam at your cancer cells.
Brachytherapy places a radiation source inside your body near your cancer. This type of treatment is less common and may be used alone or with other radiation treatments.
Systemic radiation therapy uses radioactive substances that travel in your blood to your cancer cells.
While you receive your treatment, the radiation therapists will leave the room. They will constantly monitor you using an intercom and TV system. The radiation can be easily stopped at any time and will automatically switch off once your treatment has been given.
The radiation itself does not cause pain. You are unlikely to feel anything during treatment.