Radiation therapy for childhood cancer

Radiation therapy for childhood cancer

Radiation therapy is the treatment of cancer by the use of high energy x-ray beams. The beams target the cancer cells from outside the body.

What's involved with radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is the treatment of cancer by the use of high energy x-ray beams. The beams target the cancer cells from outside the body.

External beam radiation is most commonly given by a device called a linear accelerator.

There is a linear accelerator at each of New Zealand's two tertiary treatment centres.

Radiation volume and dosage is prescribed specifically for each child by a radiation oncologist. A radiation therapist works out the amount of time it will take the linear accelerator to give the prescribed dose and operates the accelerator machine.

If a decision is made for your child to have radiation therapy, you will be given detailed information by the radiotherapy department.

What can you do?

Keep the information given to you by the Radiotherapy Department and file this in a folder, together with any other information about treatment, such as the treatment protocol for your child.

All the fact sheets in the Childhood cancer section of this website have been written by health professionals who work in the field of paediatric oncology. They have been reviewed by the members of the National Child Cancer Network (NZ). Medical information is authorised by the National Child Cancer Network Clinical Leader.

This page last reviewed 01 May 2013.
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