What does radiotherapy for secondary breast cancer involve?

Before radiotherapy starts, the woman will meet with a radiation oncologist to plan treatment and talk about what is involved.

There will usually be a planning visit with a radiation therapist to plan how radiotherapy will be given.The number of radiotherapy treatments will depend on:

  • where the cancer is and how big it is
  • the woman’s symptoms
  • the woman’s general health
  • whether the woman has had radiotherapy before in the same area.

Radiotherapy is given in a treatment room using a radiotherapy machine. The radiation therapist will leave the room while the machine is on but can still see the patient and can speak to the patient through an intercom.

How long does radiotherapy take?

Each treatment usually takes only a few minutes. However, the woman will need time to change and may need to wait for the machine to become available so could be at the hospital for up to an hour each day.