Radiotherapy to treat symptoms and improve quality of life is called palliative radiotherapy. It can be used to relieve bone pain, help with spinal cord compressions and relieve other symptoms caused by cancer.
Radiotherapy for symptoms or palliative treatment aims to shrink a cancer, slow down its growth and control symptoms.
Radiotherapy can help relieve pain from secondary cancer in the bone. Secondary cancers are cancers that have spread from another part of the body.
You might have radiotherapy to help relieve symptoms of spinal cord compression.
Radiotherapy can be the quickest way of shrinking a cancer and relieving symptoms when tumours block passages in the body.
Radiotherapy can help relieve symptoms caused by cancer that has spread to the brain. These symptoms can include headaches and sickness.
Cancer that has spread to the lungs can cause symptoms, such as breathlessness. Radiotherapy can help to relieve these symptoms.
Ulcerating cancers happen when cancers growing under the skin break through the skin surface. They are also known as fungating wounds, malignant wounds or cancer wounds. Radiotherapy can shrink the cancer and help dry up the wound.
Cancer can grow and block the vein that carries blood back to the heart (the superior vena cava). Blockage of this vein is called superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO).