Radiation therapy

Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is usually part of a multidisciplinary treatment plan that can include surgery and chemotherapy. It is pain free with minimal side effects.

Radiation therapy uses therapeutic doses of radiation to kill cancer cells with minimal damage to neighbouring healthy cells. Cells are more susceptible to damage from radiation during the process of cell division so cancer cells, which divide more rapidly, are more vulnerable than healthy cells to radiotherapy.

There are two types of radiation therapy treatment: radical and palliative depending on the severity and spread of the cancer.


Beginning radiation therapy

Brett in Radiation Oncology
Brett Campbell says that radiation therapy is "a little bit daunting but you get used to it. The nurses in there are fantastic and they make you comfortable."

Before their first treatment, patients undergo a simulation session on a CT scanner.

Treatment is daily and can run anywhere from a few days to several weeks in duration. Each treatment is checked for accuracy every day.

New radiation therapy patients are invited to attend an orientation session to introduce them to the equipment, walk around the treatment area and see the machines that will be used as part of their treatment.

To find out more about what undergoing radiation therapy is like read Brett's story or read the FAQs.

The free orientation sessions are held monthly.

For information contact the service on 03 9496 2800.


About the service

Established in 1992 at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Radiation Oncology at Austin Health now occupies Level 2 of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre. With state-of-the-art equipment, techniques and staff, Radiation Oncology delivers world-class radiation therapy services to the people of north-east Melbourne and Victoria.

Patients undergo radiation therapy in an environment close to home with the support of a dedicated multi-disciplinary team that includes radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, oncology nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, nutritionists, speech pathologists and other specially trained staff.

Radiation Oncology
03 9496 2800
8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday

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