Radiation therapy can be used to treat many cancers, alone or in combination with other treatments. It can be used:
- To treat a cancer and attempt to prevent a recurrence by eliminating a tumor.
- As a palliative treatment when eliminating the tumor is not possible. (Palliative radiation therapy is intended to relieve pain, pressure and other symptoms by shrinking the tumor.)
- Before surgery to help shrink the tumor.
- After surgery to treat any remaining cancer cells.
- In combination with chemotherapy treatment.
If radiation therapy is recommended as part of your treatment, potential benefits may include:
- Many patients find that their radiation therapy sessions have a minimal effect on their daily schedules.
- Treatment sessions are typically given on an outpatient basis, meaning no hospital stay is required.
- A session typically takes less than an hour, and sometimes as little as 15 minutes—from entering the waiting room to leaving the hospital or clinic.