Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells while causing the least possible damage to normal cells. In early-stage disease, radiotherapy is given after chemotherapy as part of the treatment. It is also used in cancers that are in later stages to treat areas where the tumor is still present.
Radiotherapy must be carefully planned in order to ensure that it is as effective as possible.
On your first visit to the radiotherapy department, you will have a CT scan done or you will lie down below a machine that will take x-rays of the area to be treated.
You may have small marks made on your skin (tattoos) to help the technician find the position more precisely so that the rays can be directed to this area. These marks must remain visible throughout the treatment. These are extremely small permanent marks, and you won't have these done without your consent.
In each session, the technician will carefully place you so that you are comfortable, as you must remain still during the treatment. Radiotherapy isn't painful. During the treatment you will stay in the room alone, though you can talk to the technician monitoring you from an adjacent room.