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How long is a course of treatment?

A course of treatment refers to the number of treatments.

The number of radiotherapy treatments needed varies, depending on the total dose required to treat your cancer, its location and the reason for the treatment. In general higher doses are given for curative treatment and usually over a longer period of time.

The total dose is usually divided into smaller doses called fractions. Most people have radiotherapy Monday to Friday for six to eight weeks. Weekend rest breaks allow the normal cells to recover. Some people have only one or a few treatments and occasionally, two treatments per day may be recommended.

Each dose of radiation causes a little more damage to cancer cells so it’s important you go to all your scheduled sessions to ensure you receive enough radiation to eventually kill the cancer cells or relieve symptoms.

Stopping smoking during and after treatment can make the treatment more effective. Call the Quitline on 13 7848 for support