Patients & Visitors

Radiotherapy

A12

Receiving your treatment

The Royal United Hospital has two treatment machines (Linear Accelerators) which are identical and work in exactly the same way. They are named LA2 and LA3. You may find during your course of treatment that you are treated on one or both of these machines. Treatment will be exactly the same whichever machine you are treated on.

You may have a single treatment or a course of treatments, called fractions, over several weeks. This depends on why radiotherapy has been recommended for you. Lower overall treatment doses are prescribed for palliative treatment than for curative treatment and usually over a shorter period of time.

Radiotherapy can be delivered as an outpatient or inpatient.

What happens when I come for treatment?

Each time you visit for treatment a radiographer will ask you your date of birth to make sure you are the person they are expecting to treat.

Each day of your treatment you will be collected from the waiting area, taken to a changing cubicle and may be asked to change into a gown. The radiographers will take you into the treatment room and position you on the couch. They will use the tattoos or marks which were put on your skin during treatment planning to line up the radiotherapy machine. It will not touch you but may come very close.

Treatment can vary between 12 – 24 minutes. It will probably take longer on the first day to allow for x rays and further measurements to be taken. When the radiographers are satisfied that you and the treatment machine are both in the correct position, they will leave the room and switch on the radiation beam. You won't feel anything during the treatment and the radiographers will be watching you closely on CCTV.

You will be required to keep still but you can breathe and swallow as normal throughout your treatment. The machine may move around you during treatment, or the radiographers may come in to change your position or that of the machine. They will explain each step to you. If there is anything you don't understand or if you have any questions, please ask them.

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