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  • Will the Treatment make me Radioactive?

    No. There is no possibility of this whatsoever.

  • How Long Will My Course of Treatment Last?

    Your oncologist will tell you this once the appropriate treatment for you has been decided. A course can last for anything from a single treatment session to five treatments a week for six and a half weeks, depending on a number of factors, e.g. the part of your body being treated and the aim of the treatment.

  • How Long Is Each Treatment Session?

    This varies from machine to machine. Some machines operate at a faster rate than others, and it also depends on the plan worked out for you. The length of a treatment session can be anything from five minutes to fifteen minutes. Occasionally a session may take longer, but this will be explained on an individual basis. When you come for your first treatment your radiographer will tell you how long each session will take.

  • Do I Have To Stay In Hospital?

    If you are able to travel to hospital for treatment, there is usually no need for you to be admitted (during the course). Most people are treated as outpatients, but your oncologist will tell you if it would be better for you to be admitted.

  • Will I Have Any Tests During Treatment?

    During your course of treatment you may need to have occasional blood tests and/or urine tests, depending on the part of your body being treated. Some people also have x-rays and/or scans during their treatment; this is part of the routine and nothing to worry about.

  • Am I Likely To Have Any Side-Effects?

    Radiotherapy is a localised treatment, which means that any side-effects will depend on the part of your body being treated.Although many people have few, if any, side-effects, everyone reacts differently and during your treatment you may experience one or more of the following:

    • Tiredness (fatigue) You may feel tired and lazy during your treatment and especially towards the end of the course and after it has finished. This is very common, and can last a variable length of time. If it happens to you, pace yourself and rest as much as you feel you need to and gradually the tiredness will pass, although it may take a long while.
    • Tender skin During your treatment and especially towards the end of your course, your skin in the area being treated may turn red, like mild sunburn, and tenderness and redness may even increase for a week or two after your treatment has finished. (This is because the tissues continue to be affected by the x-rays for several weeks after treatment.) It will gradually recover, but the nurse or radiographer treating you will explain exactly how you should look after your skin, during and after your course of treatment.
    • Diarrhoea Again, depending on the part of your body being treated, you may experience some diarrhoea. Please tell your radiographer or nurse if this happens to you as you may need diarrhoea-relieving medication. The dietitian will also be pleased to advise you and help you with an eating plan if necessary.
    • Frequency when passing urine If you are having treatment to your lower abdomen/ pelvis you may find that you pass urine more often and may experience discomfort when doing so. Drinking extra fluids will help, but try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee as these can irritate your bladder. If this happens to you please tell the staff treating you, so that your urine can be tested for any infection, which could then be treated with appropriate medication.
    • Sore mouth and throat This only happens if you are having treatment to this part of your body. If it is likely to be a problem your radiographer or nurse will explain how to look after your mouth and throat.
    • Hair loss Hair loss only occurs where treatment is given. For example you will only lose the hair on your head if your head is being treated, and if your chest is being treated, then you will only lose your chest hair. Whether or not it grows again will depend on how much radiation you have been given. Your oncologist will explain what this means for you. If your hair is expected to grow again, this should happen within a few months of the end of your treatment.
    • Sickness Depending on the part of your body being treated you may feel nauseous or be sick during your course of treatment. This does not happen to everyone. If you do feel sick, please tell your radiographer or nurse as it can be controlled by tablets or diet.



  • What is Radiation Therapy?
  • What is Cobalt Machine?
  • Why Cobalt-60 Machine?
  • What are the Goals of Radiation Therapy?
  • How Does Radiotherapy Work?


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