Radiotherapy Key facts

  • 1 in 2 people get cancer. Radiotherapy is needed in 50% of people with cancer so 1 in 4 people in UK will need RT at some time in their lives.
  • Radiotherapy cures cancer and 40% of all cancer cures need lifesaving radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is a highly effective, safe cancer treatment and is 8 times more effective than chemotherapy.
  • Radiotherapy is delivered using advanced-technology machines operated by highly trained professionals using high energy X-rays which kill cancer. It is painless and given as an outpatient on daily basis over anything from 1 day to 7.5 weeks,
  • There has been a major technological revolution in radiotherapy over the last 10 years. It can cure more patients, more precisely and deliver cures more quickly and safely than ever before.”
  • “It is also internationally recognised as one of the most COVID-safe cancer treatments. Meaning it can go on saving lives during a pandemic and quickly tackle cancer treatment backlogs.
  • However, despite all the above benefits we do not properly fund or prioritise radiotherapy in the UK. Access to modern radiotherapy is only available in the NHS to some people in the UK. More funding and better organisation of radiotherapy services in the UK are needed so that everyone can receive modern world class radiotherapy as close to home as possible, so that more patients can be cured.
  • R4L is calling on the government to make the changes that cancer patients, the front-line cancer workforce and a cross-party group of parliamentarians all agree are necessary to save more lives.