How Long Are Radiation Treatments?

Radiation Treatment: Length of Time Needed

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Radiation therapy is a type of treatment used to target and destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy has been used for many years, and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It is most often used alongside other treatments, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and biological therapies. Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, which prevents them from growing and dividing.


The number of sessions of radiation therapy that are needed depends on the type and stage of cancer that is being treated. In general, radiation therapy is given 5 days a week for a period of 5 to 8 weeks. The number of treatments can vary depending on the type of cancer and other factors.


Radiation therapy itself is not painful. However, some people may have side effects that cause discomfort. These side effects can include skin irritation and fatigue.

Stages of Cancer

Radiation therapy is most often used in stages 3 and 4 of cancer, when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, or when surgery is not an option. Radiation therapy may also be used in earlier stages of cancer to shrink the tumor before surgery.

Frequency of Treatments

Most radiation treatments are given 5 days a week for 5 to 8 weeks. Some treatments may be more frequent, such as for brain tumors. Radiation treatments typically last about 15 minutes each day.

Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment for cancer, and can help improve a person’s quality of life. It is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of radiation therapy before starting treatment.

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