What is radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is a treatment for cancer. It can be used to try to cure cancer, reduce the chance of cancer coming back or to help relieve symptoms. 

Having radiotherapy

Find out about when you might have radiotherapy, who gives it and where you have it. And about having radiotherapy if you have a pacemaker. 

External radiotherapy

External radiotherapy targets radiation at the cancer from a radiotherapy machine. Read about types of external radiotherapy and what happens during planning.

Internal radiotherapy

Internal radiotherapy means having radiation treatment from inside the body. Read more about what it is and how you have it, including treatment with radioactive implants and radioactive liquid.

Radiotherapy to relieve symptoms

Radiotherapy to treat symptoms and improve quality of life is called palliative radiotherapy. Find out about how you have radiotherapy for different symptoms.

Radiotherapy side effects

Radiotherapy can cause different side effects depending on which part of the body is being treated. Find out what these side effects are and how they affect you during and after treatment.

Follow up after radiotherapy

You might have regular follow up appointments at the radiotherapy department or at your original hospital. Your treatment team will let you know. 

Last reviewed: 
06 Nov 2020
Next review due: 
06 Nov 2023