What is external beam radiation therapy (IGRT)?

External beam radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells. Before your treatment begins, we’ll take some imaging scans to establish the precise shape, size and location of the tumour. If your treatment is after your tumour removal surgery, then we’ll take scans to examine the area where the tumour was removed.

How is treatment given?

Known as a linear accelerator (or LINAC) machine, it’s very similar to a regular X-ray machine.

  • The machine doesn’t touch you and treatment is painless
  • The radiation therapy is aimed at the tumour and a small section around it. Treatment does affect healthy tissue, although we aim to minimise this as much as possible
  • Your doctor will keep the dose as low as possible meaning a lower risk of damage to healthy tissue
  • Some people have side-effects such as pain or discomfort afterwards

How many sessions will I need?

Everyone’s different and your treatments are designed specifically for you. Your doctor is the best person to advise you about the number of treatments. Some need daily sessions over several weeks, while others need fewer.

We know that it can be tough to fit regular appointments with your busy life. So, just let us know when you’re free and we’ll make it work for you.

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