External radiotherapy

External radiotherapy uses radiation to destroy cancer cells from outside of the body. Read about the different types of external radiotherapy and what happens during planning.

What is external radiotherapy?

External radiotherapy uses radiotherapy machines to aim radiation beams at a cancer. This destroys the cancer cells. There are different types of external radiotherapy.

Planning external radiotherapy

Your radiotherapy treatment plan is individual to you. You have a CT scan or MRI scan, to create your radiotherapy plan. 

Having external radiotherapy

What happens during external radiotherapy, including travelling to the hospital for your appointments and what to expect in the treatment room.

Types of external radiotherapy

There are many different types of external radiotherapy. The treatment you have depends on your cancer and its position in the body.

Follow up after radiotherapy

You might have regular follow up appointments at the radiotherapy department or at your original hospital. Your treatment team will let you know. 

Last reviewed: 
23 Oct 2023
Next review due: 
23 Oct 2026