treats cancer by targeting high-energy X-rays to the cancer cells
to destroy them, while doing as little harm as possible to normal
cells. Radiotherapy is similar to having a normal X-ray and you
will not feel the rays.
Radiotherapy does not make you radioactive and it is perfectly
safe for you to be with other people, including children,
throughout your treatment.
Treatment lasts from 3 to 7 weeks, depending on the type and
size of the cancer. It is usually given as a series of short,
daily treatments, from Monday to Friday, with a rest at the
weekend. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes. It is important
to follow the scheduled treatment plan and to avoid unnecessary
gaps in your course of treatment.
Radiotherapy is a very precise treatment and it is important
that you are able to lie still during treatment, in exactly the
same position each time. A specially made mask of clear plastic
that fits over your head and/or shoulders is used to help keep
your head still, and in the right position.
Radiotherapy may also be given after surgery, to kill any
cancer cells that may have been missed, particularly in the lymph
glands in the neck.