Radiotherapy is the local treatment of cancer by
Radiotherapy is more commonly used to treat cancers of the
rectum and is usually given before surgery, but can also be used
after surgery if the cancer was difficult to remove. It can also be
used for advanced cancers to slow down the progress of the disease
and relieve pain and other symptoms. Radiotherapy may also be used
in anal cancer.
Sir-Spheres (Selective Internal Radiation Therapy - SIRT)
This treatment delivers millions of small radioactive beads
directly into liver tumours. This a relatively new treatment, being
granted approval in the United States and Europe since 2002.
When used with chemotherapy, studies have shown that SIR-spheres
can reduce liver tumours with the aim of increasing life expectancy
and/or improving quality of life and occasionally reduce tumours
enough to enable surgical removal. This treatment is not usually
available on the NHS but may be available as part of a clinical
trial or by making an application to a primary care trust (PCT)
through the interim
Cancer Drugs Fund.