what to expect
treatment - radiotherapy
Radiotherapy treats cancer by using high-energy rays, which destroy the cancer cells
while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells. Radiotherapy may be used as
part of treatment for both soft tissue sarcomas
and bone sarcomas. It involves
being treated for
a few minutes everyday, except weekends, usually for several weeks. The number of
treatments will depend on the type, size and position of the cancer within your
body, but the whole course of treatment for early cancer will usually last about
6 weeks. Radiotherapy is given in the Radiotherapy Department at University College
Hospital, which is located in the basement of the hospital.
Your doctor will discuss the aims and side effects of radiotherapy with you in clinic.
Before treatment can be started it must be planned. If your tumour is in a limb
you will need to have an immobilisation cast made to keep the limb still, so that
you will be treated in exactly the same position every day. This is made in the
mould room. You will then have a CT scan wearing the cast,
which is used to plan the radiotherapy. This process takes 2 - 3 weeks, which is
why radiotherapy does not start immediately. During radiotherapy you will be seen
every week by one of radiotherapy nurses, and at regular intervals by a doctor,
to monitor for side effects.