Radiation therapy is one of the main treatments for many kinds of cancer. The services provided within radiation oncology include radiation therapy (uses high doses of radiation to kill or shrink tumours), brachytherapy (placing radioactive material like gold seeds directly into tissue) and supportive care. About half of all people who have cancer will have radiation therapy as part of their treatment.
- Radiation therapy is available at the Cape Breton Cancer Centre in Sydney and the QEII Cancer Centre in Halifax.
- Brachytherapy is only available at the QEII Cancer Centre.
Treatment machines called linear accelerators use high energy radiation to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells.
A team of cancer specialists help support patients during each stage of their treatment. Specialists include: radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists, dosimetrists and cancer nurses.
QEII Cancer Centre, QEII Health Sciences Centre
Victoria General Hospital Site, 5820 University Avenue
Main Floor of Dickson Building
Halifax, NS B3H 1V7
Phone: (902) 473-6000
Cape Breton Cancer Centre, Cape Breton Regional Hospital
482 George St., Sydney, NS
How do I prepare for my first appointment?
Before your first radiation treatment, some treatment planning steps need to be completed. A Cancer Centre team member will contact you for your first treatment planning appointment. You will be given detailed information about this appointment and how to prepare when you receive the appointment date.
What should I expect at my appointment?
When you get to the centre, let the clerk at the desk know you have arrived. You will meet with a radiation oncologist and nursing staff. They will talk to you about about the kind of cancer you have and your treatment options. They will ask you questions about your health so they can recommend an individual care plan and help you make an informed decision about your treatment. The care team may take your blood pressure, weigh you and check your height.
Visit our Nova Scotia Health Authority Cancer Care Program patient information site here to learn more.
Accessing this Clinic, Program or Service
Patient Education Resources
This pamphlet describes how radiation therapy works, why it has been recommended to you, and the different types of radiation treatment. Other information like how to get ready for each treatment, how long and how often the treatment will take place, and how to manage side effects, is also listed.
Cystitis is an irritation and inflammation of the bladder lining, a common side effect when radiation treatment is given to the pelvis. This pamphlet describes symptoms of cystitis, when it may occur, and remedies which may include medication.
Provides information for patients receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer, including what to expect, how to prepare, side effects, and suggested questions to ask your health care team.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of radiation treatment to the pelvis. This pamphlet describes why and when someone may have diarrhea and how to treat it. It includes details on diet changes that may be helpful.
Certain blood cancers and blood disorders are treated with a stem cell transplant. Total Marrow Irradiation (TMI), like chemotherapy, is given to get your body ready for the stem cells. This pamphlet describes why TMI has been recommended, what will happen during treatment, possible side effects, and available supports.
This pamphlet provides information for patients receiving radiation therapy to the abdomen, including what to expect, how to prepare, side effects, and suggested questions to ask your health care team.
This pamphlet provides information for patients receiving radiation therapy to the pelvis and answers common questions like what will happen during your treatment, how long are the treatments, and what are the possible side effects of radiation therapy.
Cancer may be treated with a combination of treatments; radiation therapy is used to shrink cancer and lower the chance of it returning. This pamphlet describes how to prepare for appointments, what will happen during your treatment, how long the treatments will take, coping strategies, and the possible side effects.