Radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer

Radiotherapy uses radiation, usually x-rays, to kill cancer cells. It is the main type of treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer. 

Radiotherapy treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer

You might have radiotherapy on its own or with chemotherapy (chemoradiotherapy) to treat nasopharyngeal cancer.

Planning radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer

You have a planning session with your radiotherapy team a few days or weeks before you start treatment.

External radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer

With external radiotherapy, a large machine aims the radiation beams at the cancer. You go to the hospital for treatment once a day, from Monday to Friday, with a break at the weekends. The length of the course of treatment varies but it is usually between 4 and 7 weeks.

Side effects of radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer

Most people have side effects from radiotherapy to the nasopharynx. These include sore skin in the treatment area, a sore mouth and throat, dry mouth and taste changes. These are usually short term but there is a risk of late side effects.

Chemoradiotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer

Having chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time is called chemoradiotherapy. 

Last reviewed: 
12 Feb 2021
Next review due: 
12 Feb 2024
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