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Bowel cancer health centre

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Radiotherapy for bowel cancer

Radiotherapy uses radiation to target cancer cells and may be an option as a bowel cancer treatment.

Radiotherapy may also be used in combination with surgery, chemotherapy and biological therapy.

Radiotherapy may be given before an operation to shrink cancers of the rectum to make them easier to remove completely.

In advanced bowel cancer, radiotherapy may be used to slow the spread of the cancer and to tackle symptoms, including pain.

Radiotherapy can be given from outside or inside the body.

  • External radiotherapy is radiation targeted at the cancer from outside the body.
  • Brachytherapy is internal radiotherapy and involves a tube of radioactive material being inserted in the anus to shrink the cancer.

Cancer specialists will discuss the best options based on individual circumstances.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 19, 2016

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