External Beam Radiation Therapy

External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) is the most common type of radiation therapy treatment and works by delivering high energy x-rays into the body to damage cancer cells. EBRT is a generic term to describe a non-invasive form of cancer treatment where radiation is delivered from outside of the body. Unlike other types of cancer treatment, EBRT is a localised form of treatment, so only the area surrounding your cancer will be impacted from radiation and not your whole body.

EBRT is delivered by a treatment machine called a Linear Accelerator (Linac). The Linac delivers the treatment through one or more radiation beams or via an arc of radiation. The Linac will move around you, but not touch you, as you lie on the treatment couch and most importantly you will not feel any pain during treatment. Depending on your cancer and what your doctor prescribes for you, EBRT can either be delivered as a one-off treatment or delivered daily (excluding weekends) over a set number of weeks. EBRT is typically a quick treatment with each session only taking between 15-30 minutes.

EBRT can be delivered using a range of different treatment techniques such as:

  • Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH)
  • Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
  • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS).