Radiotherapy for Cancers

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Radiotherapy for Cancers

Radiotherapy is a treatment where radiation is used to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy is generally considered the most effective cancer treatment after surgery, but how well it works varies from person to person.

Radiotherapy may be used in the early stages of cancer or after it has started to spread.


It can be used to:

  • Cure cancer completely (curative radiotherapy)
  • Make other treatments more effective – for example, it can be combined with chemotherapy or used before surgery (neo-adjuvant radiotherapy)
  • Reduce the risk of cancer coming back after surgery (adjuvant radiotherapy)
  • Relieve symptoms if a cure is not possible (palliative radiotherapy)


Radiotherapy is usually given in hospitals. Most people have several treatment sessions, which are typically spread over a few weeks.