Radiotherapy uses radiation, usually x-rays, to kill cancer cells. You might have radiotherapy after surgery for pleural mesothelioma. This is called adjuvant radiotherapy. It aims to stop or delay the cancer from coming back. Or you might have radiotherapy to reduce the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma if you can’t have surgery. The treatment may also slow down the growth of the tumour.
Radiotherapy is not usually used for peritoneal mesothelioma because it causes too many side effects.
The radiotherapy team plan your external beam radiotherapy before you start treatment. This means working out the dose of radiotherapy you need and exactly where you need it.
The type and length of your radiotherapy treatment depends on the stage of the mesothelioma and what the aim of treatment is. Radiotherapy machines are very big and can make you feel nervous when you see them for the first time. Before your first treatment, your therapy radiographers will tell you what to expect.
You may have side effects if you have a few weeks of radiotherapy after surgery for early pleural mesothelioma. The most common side effects are reddening of the skin and loss of hair in the treatment area.