Palliative radiation therapy can be used to help shrink an advanced cancer, or to control symptoms and provide a better quality of life.

Palliative treatment doesn’t aim to cure the cancer, so lower doses of radiation can be safely used to minimise side effects.

Palliative radiation therapy is used to:

  • Relieve bone pain
  • Treat pressure on the spinal cord (spinal cord compression)
  • Shrink a tumour to relieve pressure or a blockage
  • Treat symptoms of cancer in the brain
  • Treat symptoms of cancer in the lungs
  • Control ulcerating tumours and reduce bleeding
  • Treat a blood vessel blockage in the neck called superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO)

Is palliative radiation therapy always suitable?

Palliative radiation therapy isn’t suitable for all types of cancer.

Also, not all cancers respond well to radiation therapy, so other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or biological therapy may be more helpful.

Your radiation oncologist will recommend the most suitable treatment for you based on your individual condition.

How long does palliative radiation therapy last for?

Long courses of treatment generally aren’t required.

In many cases there will be as few as 1 or 2 treatments – or, there can be up to 10 treatments.

If those being treated are frail, or live far away from the radiation therapy treatment centre, treatment may be offered on the same day as the initial consultation.

Before treatment, a planning (or ‘simulation’) session will be held. This allows the radiation oncologist to design a treatment that is specific to the body shape, size and the location of the cancer.

During the planning session, X-rays or a CT scan will be taken. Small tattoo marks are often placed on the skin near the area to be treated. These tattoo marks help the staff ensure treatment accuracy.

When the palliative treatment involves the head or neck region, a special plastic mask or ‘shell’ is made at the time of planning. This helps keep the area very still and in the same position each day for treatment.

HELP AND SUPPORT
We want to make your experience easier

Hearing the words 'you have cancer' isn't easy. We know coming to terms with your cancer diagnosis can be hugely challenging for you - as well as for your friends and family.
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FAQ
Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Radiation Therapy cancer treatment
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OUR APPROACH TO YOUR CARE
At GenesisCare, we believe in taking care of you, not just treating your cancer.

Our team of specialist doctors and health professionals are committed to supporting you at all stages of your cancer experience.
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WELLNESS PROGRAMS
At GenesisCare, we are committed to providing increased support to you through every step of your treatment.

Our vision is to deliver world class, person-centred cancer care that is close to home. We recognise that ‘treating the person as a whole’, and not just the tumour is of paramount importance
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SUPPORTING A LOVED ONE
When people with cancer undergo treatments, the focus is on them and their needs. Yet cancer often affects more than just one person. In many cases, it’s the entire family, and especially the caregivers – who are also significantly impacted by the experience.
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LIFE AFTER CANCER
After your final treatment, please call or drop in to see your care team at any time if you have concerns, questions, or just want to say Hi!

Some of our patients shared the following sentiments about their life after cancer...
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WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?
Radiation therapy uses radiation to kill or damage cancerous (abnormal) cells and stop them from growing and multiplying.

It is one of the best-established, most effective and well tolerated therapies for treating almost all cancers, extending lives, and reducing suffering.
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  • HELP AND SUPPORT Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • FAQ Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • OUR APPROACH TO YOUR CARE Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • WELLNESS PROGRAMS Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • SUPPORTING A LOVED ONE Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • LIFE AFTER CANCER
  • WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?