External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)

EBRT is delivered via a machine known as a linear accelerator. This produce high-energy external radiation beams that penetrate the tissues and deliver a dose of radiation deep into the cancerous areas.

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How does External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) work?

EBRT is delivered via a machine known as a linear accelerator. This produce high-energy external radiation beams that penetrate the tissues and deliver a dose of radiation deep into the cancerous areas. This technology, as well as other state-of-the-art techniques, have empowered oncologists to reduce considerably the side effects of the treatment and improving the delivery of the radiation.

It is typically given in an outpatient setting for about 3 to 7 weeks. EBRT starts with a planning scan, during which the radiographers take measurements and places marks on your body in order ensure the radiation beam will be lined up in the correct position for each treatment.

During treatment, you will be asked to lie on a table and you will be treated with multi-directional radiation, delivered specifically to a tumour or encompassing the surrounding area, including the lymph nodes.

EBRT can be delivered more accurately by using a computed tomography (CT) scan and a targeting computer, this is known as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, or 3D-CRT. 3D-CRT seems to reduce the chance of injury to adjacent bodily structures, targeting better the cancer area. Oncologists are also evaluating whether higher doses of radiation therapy can be given safely and with better cancer cure rates.

We work together to combine the highest levels of consultant-led care and patient choice with the most advanced knowledge and understanding of the disease and its forms.

Cancers External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) can treat

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Almost 60,000 women are diagnosed with this disease every year, with an extra 7,400 breast cancer sufferers diagnosed with an earlier, non-invasive form, confined to a specific area of the breast (usually milk ducts) but which may later acquire the ability to spread.
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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that begin in one or both lungs, often in the cells that line the air passages. The abnormal cells divide more quickly than normal cells and form tumours. The tumour increases in size and eventually learns to spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body via the blood stream.
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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years but in a small proportion of men, it can grow more swiftly and in some cases spread to other parts of the body, in particular the bones. It is the most common cancer in men in the UK.
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Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer occurs when normal cells change and develop in an abnormal way or form a malignant tumour. When cancer cells develop within the vagina itself, it is known as Primary Vaginal Cancer. If it spreads from another part of the body for example, from the neck (cervix) or lining of the womb, it is known as Secondary Vaginal Cancer.
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Q. Does EBRT hurt?

A. No, EBRT treatment doesn’t cause any pain, yet side effects may cause discomfort.

Q. What side effects can I expect?

A. Radiation therapy side effects affect people in different ways and aren’t always guaranteed. However, common side effects people can expect are fatigue, nutritional problems, skin reactions and hair loss at the site of the treatment.

Q. How long will the treatment take?

A. The treatment itself only takes a couple of minutes and will be carried out over a set number of sessions depending on your condition.

Q. Will I be radioactive?

A. No, once the treatment is complete you won’t be radioactive as the radiation is administered externally. Once complete it’s perfectly safe for you to be around other people.

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