Your radiotherapy treatment plan
This page tells you about how you have radiotherapy. There is information about
Depending on your type of cancer you may have radiotherapy as the only treatment. Or you may have radiotherapy before, during or after surgery or chemotherapy. Sometimes radiotherapy is given alongside chemotherapy and is called chemoradiation.
Radiotherapy specialists (clinical oncologists) look at the size and type of your cancer to plan your treatment. They also take your general health into account. They work together with a team of people, including medical physicists, radiologists and radiographers. The treatment team plan the treatment to suit your needs.
Your doctor will measure the position of the cancer and your body shape in that area to work out the total dose of radiotherapy you need. Usually, the medical team work out the total dose and then divide it into lots of smaller doses called fractions. You usually have one treatment fraction each weekday with no treatment at weekends. But some people may have treatment less often, for example, 3 times a week. Some people may have treatment more often, for example, twice a day. Your doctor will discuss with you how many treatments you need and how often you will have them.
The radiotherapy team plan each person's radiotherapy individually, so that a high dose is given to the cancer, and the dose to surrounding healthy cells is as low as possible. The healthy cells can then recover. This aims to give the highest chance of curing or shrinking the cancer while reducing the risk of side effects.
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