Radiation therapy for stomach cancer
Also known as radiotherapy, this treatment uses a controlled dose of radiation to kill or damage cancer cells. Radiation therapy for stomach cancer is commonly used to control symptoms. It is usually given externally as a short course (between one day and two weeks). Occasionally radiation will be given over a longer period (5–6 weeks), particularly if surgery is not possible, or there are concerns about cancer cells being left behind after surgery.
Each treatment takes about 15 minutes and is not painful. You will lie on a table under a machine that delivers radiation to the affected parts of your body. Your doctor will advise you about your treatment schedule. Potential side effects include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin redness and loss of appetite (anorexia).
Video: What is radiation therapy?
Prof David Watson, Senior Consultant Surgeon, Oesophago-gastric Surgery Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, and Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Flinders University, SA; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Katie Benton, Advanced Dietitian, Cancer Care, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Alana Fitzgibbon, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Gastrointestinal Cancers, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Christine Froude, Consumer; Dr Andrew Oar, Radiation Oncologist, Icon Cancer Centre, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dr Spiro Raftopoulos, Interventional Endoscopist and Consultant Gastroenterologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Grant Wilson, Consumer; Prof Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology, The Canberra Hospital, ACT. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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