If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumour, there are a variety of possible treatment options. One of these is radiotherapy, which may be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatment options.
Radiotherapy uses controlled doses of invisible, high energy beams of charged particles to destroy tumour cells whilst causing as little damage as possible to surrounding cells.
It may be used:
It is likely that you will experience some side-effects after having radiotherapy as a brain tumour treatment. Most will be temporary and gradually fade, usually within 6 - 12 weeks after treatment has finished.
Radiotherapy works because it does the greatest damage to rapidly dividing cells, such as tumour cells. However, it can also affect any normal cells within the treatment area, particularly those which also divide rapidly such as skin cells, cells lining the mouth and digestive tract, plus blood cells in the bone marrow.
Side-effects will depend on the dose and length of treatment you have, and will differ according to the area of the brain that has received radiotherapy.
You are not radioactive after treatment and are safe to be around people, including children.
Radiotherapy is designed to limit the chance of permanent side-effects as much as possible and very few people develop long-term difficulties.
However, the benefits of having radiotherapy far outweigh the risks.
In these rare cases, long-term side-effects of radiotherapy can affect your:
Our FREE Brain Tumour Information Pack has been designed to help you through this difficult time, to guide you through the healthcare system, answer your questions, and reassure you that you're not alone so that you feel confident when discussing treatment and care options with your medical team.