Why is radiation therapy use with other treatment?
While radiation therapy can be used on its own to manage cancer, it is often more effective when it’s combined with other treatments.
This is because different treatments target cancer via different pathways. For example:
External beam radiation therapy can be applied before surgery to shrink a tumour, making it easier to remove
External beam radiation therapy can be given after surgery to get rid of any microscopic disease that remains
When radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy, cancer cells can become more sensitive to the radiation.
This makes the radiation treatment more effective in killing cancer cells and improves the result.
Combining these treatments also treats the whole body – whereas radiation therapy only focuses on the cancer area. By treating the whole body, the therapy is helping to get rid of any disease that may be present in other parts of the body.
Deciding the type of approach to your treatment will depend on your specific condition and overall health – and you will decide on this with your medical team.
Who decides if I need radiation therapy?
Your radiation oncologist will recommend the treatment that’s best suited to treat your condition.
Are there any side effects from radiation therapy?
Side effects do exist, and they vary from person to person.
The most common side effects are tiredness and skin changes. Other side effects depend on the part of your body being treated.
Your radiation oncologist and nurse will explain the side effects specific to your treatment area. They will also give you advice on how to manage these and look after yourself during treatment.
Does radiation therapy hurt?
Not at all. Radiation therapy is painless. In fact, you don’t see or feel the actual treatment. Most people continue with their usual daily routine during the treatment course.
Our aim is to make treatment affordable for all patients. Visit our payments page to find our more.
GenesisCare & Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health
At GenesisCare we understand the unique healthcare needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For more information on how we can offer you support during your cancer treatment visit our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander health page.