Radiotherapy Terms

Courses of radiation

Radiotherapy is often given as a course of treatment that lasts for days or weeks. Most people who have radiotherapy for cancer receive their treatment on a daily basis from Monday to Friday with a break at the weekend. This break allows the normal cells to recover. Each treatment is known as a fraction.


To reduce the side effects of a full dose of radiation, treatment is usually divided into smaller doses called fractions. You'll receive a fraction of radiation during each treatment session, which will equal the full dose by the end of the course.

Combination therapy

Radiotherapy is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy (use of cancer-fighting medication). Radiotherapy may also be used before or after surgery to remove a tumour.