- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Radiation therapy
- Common questions about radiation therapy
- How will I know the treatment has worked?
How will I know the treatment has worked?
Because cancer cells continue to die for weeks or months after treatment ends, your radiation oncologist most likely won’t be able to tell you straightaway how the cancer is responding. However, they can help you manage any side effects.
After treatment finishes, you will have regular check-ups. Your radiation oncologist will do a physical examination and arrange tests or scans to check whether the cancer has responded to treatment. You may not know the full benefit of having radiation therapy for some months.
If radiation therapy is given as palliative treatment, the relief of symptoms is a good sign that the treatment has worked. This may take a few days or weeks. Until then, you may need other treatments for your symptoms, e.g. pain medicine.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Madhavi Chilkuri, Radiation Oncologist, Townsville Cancer Centre, The Townsville Hospital, and Dean, RANZCR Faculty of Radiation Oncology, QLD; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Patricia Hanley, Consumer; Prof Michael Hofman, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Physician, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Leanne Hoy, Cancer Nurse Consultant, GenesisCare, VIC; Sharon King, Accredited Practising Dietitian, TAS; Dr Yoo Young (Dominique) Lee, Radiation Oncology Consultant, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Dr Wendy Phillips, Senior Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Katrina Rech, Radiation Therapist and Quality Systems Manager, GenesisCare, SA. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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