Radiation therapy for primary bone cancer
Radiation therapy uses targeted radiation to kill or damage cancer cells. The radiation is usually in the form of x-ray beams. Radiation therapy may be used for Ewing sarcoma:
- after surgery or chemotherapy, to kill any cancer cells possibly left behind
- as an alternative treatment to surgery if a wide local excision is not possible
- as palliative treatment, to help stop the growth of an advanced cancer or control the symptoms.
How radiation therapy is given – Radiation therapy is usually given every weekday, with a rest over the weekend, for several weeks. Your specialist will provide details about your specific treatment plan.
Side effects – These will depend on the area being treated and the strength of the dose you have. Common side effects include fatigue (tiredness), skin redness or soreness, and hair loss in the treatment area. Ask your treatment team for advice about dealing with any side effects.
Video: What is radiation therapy?
Watch this short video to learn more about radiation therapy.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Peter Choong AO, Orthopaedic Surgeon, and Sir Hugh Devine Professor, St Vincent’s Hospital, and Head of Department of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, VIC; Catherine Chapman, Adolescent and Young Adult and Sarcoma Cancer Specialist Nurse, Division of Cancer and Ambulatory Support, Canberra Hospital, ACT; A/Prof Paul Craft AM, Medical Oncologist, Canberra Hospital and Australian National University, ACT; Belinda Fowlie, Bone Tumour Nurse Practitioner Candidate, SA Bone and Soft Tissue Tumour Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Prof Angela Hong, Radiation Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney, NSW; Vicki Moss, Nurse Practitioner, SA Bone and Soft Tissue Tumour Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; A/Prof and Dr Marianne Phillips, Paediatric and Adolescent Oncologist and Palliative Care Physician, Perth Children’s Hospital, WA; Chris Sibthorpe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland; Stephanie Webster, Consumer.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Talk to a qualified health professional with your question
Call 13 11 20 or email
Coping with cancer?
Support groups face to face or telephone, forums and more ways we can help
Need legal and financial assistance?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment
Common questions about radiation therapy
Key questions about radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment
Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope
Deciding on specialist care
How to find and choose a surgeon, oncologist or other specialist