Questions about radiation therapy

Below are some questions about radiation therapy to ask your doctor to learn more about it as a treatment option, and whether it’s the right fit. If you don’t understand your doctor’s answers, ask for clarification.

  • Why do I need radiation therapy?
  • What do you expect the radiation therapy to do to the cancer?
  • What kind of radiation therapy will I have?
  • Will it be my only treatment, or will I have other treatments?
  • What side effects should I expect? Will they be long-term or short-term?
  • How long will treatment take? How will it be given?
  • Will I have radiation therapy as an inpatient or outpatient?
  • Will I be radioactive? Will my partner be affected?
  • Is it safe to have sex during the course of radiation therapy?
  • Will treatment interact with any other medicines or vitamins I am taking?
  • When will I know whether the treatment has been successful?
  • How much will treatment cost? Will the cost be covered by health insurance?
  • Where can I have this treatment? Will I have to travel away from home?
  • Can I get help with travel expenses or accommodation if I need it?

This information was last reviewed in December 2017
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