Radiotherapy is sometimes given with chemotherapy. This is called chemoradiation. It is used as the main treatment for some types of cancer. It can also be used before or after surgery.
Having chemotherapy at the same time as radiotherapy is called chemoradiation. It is sometimes called chemoradiotherapy.
The chemotherapy drugs can make cancer cells more sensitive to radiotherapy. Combining both treatments is often more effective than having either treatment on its own.
This treatment is only helpful for certain types of cancer, so it is not suitable for everyone. Depending on the type of cancer, you may have chemoradiation:
- as your main treatment for cancer
- for cancers that cannot be removed with surgery
- before surgery, to help shrink the tumour. This is called neo-adjuvant treatment.
- after surgery, to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. This is called adjuvant treatment.
We may have more about chemoradiation in our information about different types of cancer.
Giving chemotherapy and radiotherapy together can make the side effects of treatment worse. Your doctor or specialist nurse will give you more information about chemoradiation and the possible side effects.
Always tell your doctor, specialist nurse or radiographer about any side effects so they can help.
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