My radiotherapy treatment
Radiotherapy is given in specialist treatment centres. The doctor responsible for your care is called a clinical oncologist.
The oncologist, or one of their team, will prescribe your radiotherapy treatment. This will be planned by a team of planning radiographers and physicists.
The consent form
The doctor will ask you to sign a consent form. This is a written record that you have agreed to the planned radiotherapy. Before you can give your consent, your doctor will discuss with you what the radiotherapy is likely to involve, the benefits and risks, and any available alternative treatments. You may also be given some written information to back up what you’ve been told.
It is important that you understand the information you have been given – ask questions if you don’t understand or if you want more information.
Your doctor will write the main benefits and risks associated with the radiotherapy on the consent form before you sign it. You will then be given a copy of this.
Find out more about consent.
Who will be treating me?
Therapy radiographers are the main people you will come into contact with when you have radiotherapy treatment. They work closely with the clinical oncologist and help plan and are responsible for giving you your treatment. They will be able to answer many of your questions. Radiographers are also able to advise on possible side effects and what you should or shouldn’t do during treatment.
Most cancer centres are also teaching hospitals so your team may include a student radiographer, student nurse or a medical student. Please tell us if you don’t want a student present during your clinic or treatment appointment.
During your treatment you may be seen in a review clinic. The exact number of times you are seen depends on the length and type of treatment you are having, as well as how you are feeling. In these clinics you will see a specialist nurse or a doctor. You may also see a dietitian if needed.
During the clinic you will be given the time to ask any questions and discuss any problems you may have. It is a good time to ask for any repeat prescriptions that you need.
You may also meet nurses in the radiotherapy department; they can advise you on care during your treatment.
What if I'm asked about a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a study to find out the benefits and safety of possible new treatments. There are many clinical trials taking place in specialist cancer centres. If you are suitable, we may ask if you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial. Your doctor, a research radiographer or research nurse will discuss this with you.
You do not have to take part and it will not affect your treatment.