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Radiotherapy for advanced cancer

Radiotherapy uses high energy rays similar to x-rays to kill cancer cells. It can shrink cancer, relieve symptoms and help you feel more comfortable.

You might have external or internal beam radiotherapy. External beam radiotherapy directs radiotherapy beams at the cancer from a machine. Internal radiotherapy gives radiotherapy to the cancer from inside the body.

Planning radiotherapy for advanced cancer

The radiotherapy team plans your radiotherapy before you start treatment. This means working out the dose of radiotherapy you need and exactly where you need it.

External radiotherapy for advanced cancer

You have radiotherapy in a hospital radiotherapy department. For advanced cancer, you might have one treatment a day for a few days, or you may have a few treatments with a few days break between.

Internal radiotherapy for advanced cancer

Internal radiotherapy means giving radiotherapy to the cancer from inside the oesophagus. It's also called brachytherapy.

Side effects of radiotherapy for advanced cancer

Side effects tend to start a week after the radiotherapy begins. They can include feeling tired, a sore throat and mouth, and difficulty swallowing. 

Last reviewed: 
18 Oct 2019
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

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