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Starting radiation therapy

Starting radiation therapy

As Michelle and Claire spoke about in the video, Radiation Therapy is an important part of multimodality cancer treatment. This means using more than one type of treatment to treat cancer.

We also heard from Róisín and Julie about their feelings about starting radiation therapy and when they were diagnosed.

Right at the start of your cancer treatment, we recommend that you speak with your doctor, and ask him/her about your treatment options.

Although we will be looking at many of these questions in this course, there are many different types of cancer, and treatment options. Try to be prepared when you are visiting your doctor, and take notes to the following questions.

Talking to your doctor

Here are some questions you may like to ask your doctor about cancer treatment.

  • What treatment options are available to me?

  • Is my cancer suitable to receive radiation therapy as a treatment?

  • What is the aim of radiation treatment?

  • Will I have just radiation therapy or do I also need other treatments?

  • Does radiation therapy kill the cancer cells?

  • Is radiation therapy as effective as other treatments if used on its own?

  • What are the chances that it will treat the cancer and stop the spread? If I don’t have the treatment what are chances it will spread?

  • Does radiation therapy have side effects?

  • How long do side effects last?

  • Can I carry on working? Does the treatment take a long time?

  • Do I need to make changes to my lifestyle or can I carry on as normal?

You can download these questions to print out and bring with you here.

In the comments section below:

  • What other questions do you think might be important to ask your doctor about radiation therapy treatment?
  • Have you, or someone you know, had radiation therapy? Share any helpful tips with other learners from when you started your treatment.
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An Introduction to Radiation Oncology: From Diagnosis to Survivorship

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