Learn more about radiation therapy

Radiation therapy holds an important place cancer treatment, as a high proportion of cancer patients will likely receive this type of therapy as part of their treatment.3

There are many ways to have radiation therapy however they all generally speaking work in a similar way.3 There are two main types of radiation therapy techniques; external, where radiation is delivered from a machine and internal; where a medicine or even small steel “seeds” are inserted into the body to the cancer site.3,4

External beam radiation therapy is usually delivered in intervals called ‘fractions’.1,3,4 This allows time between treatments for the healthy cells to repair and the cancer cells to die off.3

Potential radiation therapy side-effects

Some patients may experience side-effects from their radiation therapy treatment. If side-effects do occur, please let your GenesisCare treatment team know as soon as possible, and they will then monitor the side effects closely. Potential side-effects of radiation therapy may include: 1,13,14

  1. Tiredness
  2. Skin changes
  3. Swelling and build up of fluids
  4. Hair loss
  5. Stress, anxiety, and other coping issues

Helpful resources

We understand that you may still have some unanswered questions, and we’re here to help you in any way we can. But if you are still seeking answers visit Targeting Cancer for further information about radiation therapy or contact a staff member from a centre near you.


Any procedure including treatments involving radiation carry risks, including skin irritation and associated pain. Before proceeding with a referral for treatment, patients should be advised to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. As in any medical procedure, patient experiences and outcomes will vary.