[Skip to content]

Print this page

Welcome to the Radiotherapy department at the Royal Derby Hospital

Radiotherapy image 1 fotolia

What is Radiotherapy and how does it work?

Cancer occurs when cells multiply and divide in an uncontrolled manner. There are more than 200 types of Cancer, and research has found that 1 in 2 people will get some form of cancer in their lifetime. 

Radiotherapy is the use of high energy x-rays or electrons in order to damage and destroy cancer cells. If these (cancer) cells are hit by radiation whilst they are dividing they will be damaged and find it more difficult to repair themselves. Unfortunately there will also be some normal (healthy) tissue within the treatment area, but these healthy cells have the ability to recover quickly. 

Following a CT scan, your oncologist will carefully decide on a measured radiation dose prescription. Together with a highly skilled team of physicists and therapy radiographers, the oncologist will plan your individually tailored radiotherapy treatment. During the planning process, great care is undertaken to ensure that normal (healthy) tissue is avoided as much as possible. 

There are a number of other treatments for Cancer. Depending on your diagnosis, radiotherapy may be used in combination with another treatment. Other treatments include Surgery, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy and Brachytherapy here at Derby. If you have any questions, or would like any further information on any of these treatment options, then please ask.