What is Radiation Therapy

1. What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation Therapy, sometimes called radiotherapy, effectively treats cancer and other benign conditions by using carefully controlled high-energy radiation rays to pinpoint and destroy cancerous cells in your body.


Although radiation therapy is similar to having an x-ray taken of a broken bone, the dose of radiation in cancer treatment is stronger and is given over a longer period of time. With careful planning, radiation can be directed to the cancer and away from most normal tissues. Different types of cancer react to radiation in different ways, so treatments may vary. The best choice depends upon the type of cancer you have, the extent of the cancer, and its location. Most of the time, it is given using x-rays or electrons, which is called external beam treatment. Occasionally, radioactive materials are inserted into the body and this is called brachytherapy. If radioactive materials are injected or swallowed, it is called radiopharmaceutical therapy.

2. How does Radiation Therapy work?

3. What can I expect after I am told I need Radiation Therapy?

4. Will Radiation Therapy make me radioactive?

5. Will the treatment hurt while they are being given?

6. Which side effects may I have, and how long will they last?

7. What things can I do to help myself during treatment?

8. How do I make an appointment?

9. Do I need preauthorization from my insurance carrier for treatment?

10. What other services can I receive at the Cancer Treatment Center?