Managing Radiation Therapy Treatment

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy or radiation oncology) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy is used to:

Treat Cancer

  • Radiation can be used to cure cancer, to prevent it from returning, or to stop or slow its growth.

Ease Cancer Symptoms

  • Radiation may be used to shrink a tumor to treat pain and other problems caused by the tumor. Or, it can lessen problems that may be caused by a growing tumor, such as trouble breathing or loss of bowel and bladder control.

Radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. It takes days or weeks of treatment before cancer cells start to die. Then, cancer cells keep dying for weeks or months after radiation therapy ends.