How do I prepare for radiation therapy?

The effects of radiation therapy depend on the part of the body being treated, the radiation dose and the number of treatments you need. Your treatment team will tell you the likely effects for you. It can be hard to know how to prepare, but several general issues are worth thinking about in advance.

Explore ways to relax

Read a book or listen to music while you wait, ask a friend or family member to keep you company, or try chatting to other people waiting for treatment. To help you relax during the session, try meditation or breathing exercises, or ask the radiation therapists if you can listen to music.

Organise help at home

Some support with housework, meals and errands can ease the load. If you have young children, you may need to arrange for someone to look after them during radiation therapy sessions and possibly afterwards. Older children may need lifts to and from school and activities. Consider asking one friend or family member to coordinate offers of help. You may be able to get practical support through your local Cancer Council.

Find out about quitting

If you smoke, it is important to stop smoking before starting treatment. Smoking may make the treatment less effective and side effects worse. For information and support, talk to your doctor, call the Quitline on 13 7848 or visit iCanQuit.

Discuss your concerns

Keep a list of questions and add to it whenever you think of a new question. If you are feeling anxious about radiation therapy, talk to a member of the radiation therapy team, your GP, or a family member or friend.

Arrange transport

Plan how you will get to radiation therapy sessions. If travelling by car, ask about parking as there will often be spots set aside for radiation therapy patients. At first, you may feel well enough to get yourself to radiation therapy sessions. You are likely to feel more tired as the treatment goes on, so it’s best to arrange for someone to drive you. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out if there is a transport to treatment service in your area.

Mention medical implants

Let your treatment team know if you have any medical devices in your body, such as a pacemaker, cochlear implant or another metal implant, such as a hip or knee replacement. Radiation therapy can affect these devices or be affected by them.

Ask about patient travel assistance

If you have to travel a long way for radiation therapy, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help cover the cost of travel or accommodation. Your local Cancer Council may also provide accommodation services. For details, speak to the hospital social worker or clinic receptionist, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.

Consider fertility

Some types of radiation therapy can affect your fertility. If you think you may want to have children in the future, talk to your treatment team about your options before radiation therapy begins.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on radiation therapy


Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

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Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

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Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in December 2019
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