Radiotherapy is the use of high energy x-rays (called ionising radiation) to treat cancer. There are a number of types of radiotherapy. The main form is external beam radiotherapy, which is delivered using a machine called a linear accelerator that directs the radiation beam to treat the area occupied by the cancer and a small area of normal tissue around it.
Radiotherapy uses high dose radiation to kill cancer cells and stop them from growing and dividing. Cancer cells, are less able to repair radiation damage, normal tissue cells that are damaged during radiotherapy treatment usually recover or repair themselves quite quickly.
The aim of radiotherapy is to destroy as many cancer cells as possible, limiting the injury to surrounding normal tissue.
Oncology Clinics Victoria has a close association with the William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre (www.wbrc.org.au), the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute (www.petermac.org), and Radiation Oncology Victoria (www.radoncvic.com.au). Treatments are given at any of their locations depending on the type of cancer you have and where you live.