Radiation therapy for advanced kidney cancer
Radiation therapy uses a controlled dose of radiation, such as focused x-ray beams, to kill or damage cancer cells. It is also known as radiotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be used in advanced kidney cancer to shrink a tumour and relieve symptoms such as pain and bleeding (see Palliative treatment).
Having radiation therapy
If you have radiation therapy, you will lie on a treatment table under a machine called a linear accelerator. The treatment is painless and takes only a few minutes. Each session usually lasts for 10–20 minutes. You will be able to go home once the session is over, and in most cases you can drive afterwards.
The total number of treatment sessions depends on your situation. You might have some temporary side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, tiredness and skin irritation. The radiation oncologist can talk to you about side effects you are likely to experience and give you advice about how to manage them.
For more on this, see our general section on Radiation therapy.
If you have cancer, radiation therapy may play a big role in your treatment plan. Learn more in this short video.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Daniel Moon, Urologic Surgeon, Australian Urology Associates, and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne, VIC; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Ian Basey, Consumer; Gregory Bock, Urology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, North Metropolitan Health Service, WA; Tina Forshaw, Advanced Practice Nurse Urology, Canberra Health Services, ACT; Dr Suki Gill, Radiation Oncologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Karen Walsh, Nurse Practitioner, Urology Services, St Vincents Private Hospital Northside, QLD; Dr Alison Zhang, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Macquarie University Hospital, NSW.
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