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 specialist will plan your radiotherapy carefully to make sure it’s as effective as possible.

Possible side effects

If you are having radiotherapy for cancer of the larynx, you may have some side effects during treatment and afterwards.

Before your radiotherapy

Before you start radiotherapy, your team will explain what your treatment involves and how it may affect you.

Making a radiotherapy mask

During radiotherapy to the head and neck a mask is used to help you keep still so that exactly the right area is treated.

Your radiotherapy team

You will meet many different specialists from your radiotherapy team. You may see them before, during and after radiotherapy treatment.

After treatment

It can take time to recover from radiotherapy. Support is there if you have any problems.