[Skip to content]



Radiotherapy is the use of high energy radiation (X-rays) to treat diseased cells in the body. It can be used to treat several diseases, the main one being cancer. It can also be used to reduce some of the symptoms caused by cancer.

All the cells in the part of the body being treated will be affected by the radiation, but only the diseased ones will be destroyed. The healthy ones will soon recover. Radiotherapy treatment is individually planned for each patient in order to avoid as much healthy tissue as possible.

The treatments are totally painless and can last anything from a few seconds to several minutes.

Radiotherapy is usually given externally, but for some types of cancer it can be given internally. This is called brachytherapy. 

See below for information that you may find helpful:

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) information
Our Radiotherapy Patient Information Group produces leaflets relating to radiotherapy.  Please be aware that even if you are having radiotherapy, not all of the leaflets will be relevant to your care. Leaflets relevant to your care will be given to you at the appropriate time, giving you the chance to discuss them with your healthcare team. 

Click on the coloured text links below for general information which may be of help:

General radiotherapy information
UHL general radiotherapy information leaflets.  To view this information online please click on the heading above.    

Radiotherapy to specific areas of the body 
UHL information about radiotherapy treatment to specific areas of the body is also available, and will be given to you if appropriate. To view this information online please click on the heading above.

Brachytherapy treatment for cancer

Click on the heading above to view information about brachytherapy.

If you would like more information, including copies of our radiotherapy leaflets, please contact the Cancer Information Centre. 

Further information
For details of other organisations that provide information about radiotherapy please click on the heading above.   

Radiotherapy information in languages other than English
If your preferred language is not English, please click on the heading above to find out if there is any relevant information available.

Further information in languages other than English
To find out if there is any other information about cancer, cancer treatments and living with cancer available in your preferred language, please click on the heading above, or contact the Cancer Information Centre.

This page last reviewed 04/07/2024