Palliative treatment is designed to relieve symptoms, and improve your quality of life.Palliative radiation therapy is when radiation treatment is given to shrink a cancer, slow its growth and relieve symptoms. It does not aim to cure the cancer. This means doses are much lower, and side effects can be far less severe than treatments that aim to put the cancer into remission (curative radiation therapy).
This therapy may be used in cases where terminal cancers cannot be successfully treated. In this situation, it will be used to extend the patient’s life, relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. It may involve between one and ten short treatments given over two weeks, depending on the type of cancer and the reason for the treatment.
Palliative radiation therapy can be used to:
· Relieve bone pain
· Treat spinal cord compression
· Shrink a tumour to relieve pressure or a blockage
· Treat symptoms of cancer in the brain
· Treat symptoms of cancer in the lungs
· Control ulcerating tumours and reduce bleeding
· Treat a blood vessel blockage called SVCO (superior vena cava obstruction)