What is external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)?

EBRT is a type of radiation therapy that delivers targeted, high-energy radiation beams to a tumour from outside the patient’s body. It aims to destroy cancer cells while minimising damage to surrounding tissue. EBRT is delivered using a machine called a linear accelerator – commonly abbreviated to LINAC.1,2

How is treatment given?

After an initial consultation with their treating radiation oncologist, patients attend a simulation appointment where computed tomography (CT) scans are used to develop a personalised EBRT treatment plan. These scans help the radiation oncologist plan where to target the radiation beam, what dose to give, and how to position the patient’s body during their treatment sessions. During each treatment session, the radiation therapists use this treatment plan to correctly position the patient’s body and deliver the prescribed radiation therapy.1

What happens during treatment sessions?

During EBRT treatment sessions, patients lie on a treatment table or 'couch' or 'bed' under the LINAC machine. The machine does not touch the patient, but it usually rotates around the body to precisely deliver radiation to the targeted area of cancer cells while minimising radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.1

EBRT treatment is painless, but as with any cancer treatment, it may have side effects. The type and severity of side effects vary among individuals, and risks may be affected by cancer type and location, general health, and previous treatments.1 Patients should talk to their doctor for detailed information about possible side effects of any treatment that is recommended.

How many sessions will I need?

Everyone is different and treatments are personally tailored for each individual patient. Some patients will need daily sessions over several weeks, while others will need fewer sessions.1 Patients should ask their doctor about the number of treatments they require.

At GenesisCare, we know that it can be tough to fit regular appointments into busy life, so we strive to work with our patients to schedule suitable treatments times.

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This website is provided for information purposes only. Nothing on this website is intended to be used as medical advice or, to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It should not be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.

Any medical procedure or treatment involving the use of radiation carries risks, including skin irritation and associated pain. Before proceeding with treatment, you should discuss the risks and benefits of the treatment with an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Individual treatment outcomes and experiences will vary.