Radiotherapy - exactly targeted and completely painless

Radiotherapy is a painless treatment used to destroy cancer cells and reduce the size of tumours with ionising radiation. Treatment is targeted directly at the tumour and/or metastases, and is delivered in small doses (fractions) over several days. Radiotherapy is a well-tolerated form of cancer treatment. There are two types of radiotherapy: external radiotherapy is the more common form and given from outside the body; internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) is from within the body by administering a source of radiation inside the patient.
 
Radiotherapy is used as the sole treatment for some cancers such as local prostate cancer. In most cases, however, radiotherapy is combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy. Combination treatment often enables conservative surgery. In breast cancer, for example, radiotherapy enables breast-conserving surgery. Simultaneous radiotherapy and chemotherapy enhance the effects of both treatments. The size of a tumour can be decreased with radiotherapy prior to surgery. After surgery, radiotherapy is given to prevent the growth of cancer cells possibly still remaining in your body.
 
Radiotherapy may also be used to alleviate the symptoms of a metastatic cancer by targeting it at the metastases. Radiotherapy is particularly effective in the treatment of bone metastases.
 
Although radiotherapy can be accurately targeted at the tumour or the site where a surgically removed tumour was, it also affects the healthy cells, possibly causing side effects in the adjacent tissues.
 
At Department of Oncology, radiotherapy is given between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm with eight modern linear accelerators capable of administering radiotherapy accurately, conserving the tissues surrounding the targeted tumour. The department will receive two new radiotherapy machines in early 2014. In addition to linear accelerators, the Department of Oncology boasts one of the first magnetic resonance simulators in Europe, which enables extremely precise treatment plans and minimises damage to healthy tissue.​