Radiotherapy is given after surgery at a radiotherapy centre

You will usually receive radiotherapy after surgery, and after chemotherapy if you are having it. You will need time for your wounds to heal or to complete chemotherapy before you are ready to have radiotherapy.

You should then start your radiotherapy treatment within 31 days of you being ready to receive it.

You should then start your radiotherapy treatment within six weeks of you being ready to receive it, although there are sometimes delays to this.

Speak to your breast care team if you are concerned about the length of time you are waiting for radiotherapy.

Your course of radiotherapy will be split into a number of treatment sessions, called fractions. This normally involves having daily treatment (Monday to Friday) over a period of three weeks. If you are having a breast ‘boost’, this will extend your treatment by a few extra days.

Radiotherapy uses special machines to deliver x-rays and is only given at larger hospitals that have this equipment. You may have to travel some distance for your radiotherapy if your town or city does not have a radiotherapy centre.

Radiotherapy uses special machines to deliver x-rays and only hospitals in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness have this equipment.

Radiotherapy uses special machines to deliver x-rays and only hospitals in Cardiff, Swansea, and Rhyl have this equipment.

Radiotherapy uses special machines to deliver x-rays and only hospitals in Belfast and Derry have this equipment.

You will have to travel to one of these cities for your radiotherapy.

Talk to your breast care team if this is difficult for you, as some hospitals may be able to supply transport to and from your radiotherapy appointments.

If you live very far from any of these cities, you may be offered hospital accommodation during your treatment.
 

Information Standard

Information last reviewed: November 2017

Next review due: November 2020

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