Where will I have radiotherapy?

You will have your radiotherapy treatment in a radiotherapy department. Not all hospitals have radiotherapy departments. This is because radiotherapy machines are very complex and the treatment needs to be planned and given by specially trained staff.

Most radiotherapy departments are in larger regional and teaching hospitals. You may have some of your cancer treatment, such as surgery or chemotherapy (or both), at your local hospital. After this, you will then be referred to your nearest specialist cancer hospital for radiotherapy.

You will usually have external radiotherapy as an outpatient. But if you are unwell, or having chemotherapy at the same time, you may need to stay in hospital. In this case, you will go to the radiotherapy department each day from the ward.

If you’re having internal radiotherapy, you may have to stay in hospital for a few days.

Back to Radiotherapy explained

Planning your treatment

Your radiotherapy will be carefully planned, and you will have a radiotherapy mask made to help keep your head as still as during treatment.

Possible side effects

You will get side effects during radiotherapy treatment to your head and neck. These usually improve a few weeks after treatment is over.

Who might I meet?

You will meet many different specialists before, during and after radiotherapy treatment.