Conventional Radiation Therapy

What is conventional radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy shrinks or destroys tumours using high-energy X-rays. Conventional (also called fractionated) radiation therapy delivers a part (fraction) of the complete radiation dose over several sessions.

By delivering a fraction of the total radiation dose at one time, any damage to normal cells caused by radiation can be repaired between treatments. In this way, healthy cells are protected from permanent injury or death.

You may be given radiation therapy as your only treatment, or you may also undergo surgery, chemotherapy, or both (concurrent chemo-radiation).

3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) vs conventional radiation therapy

3D-CRT, also known as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, uses 3D images on a computer to shape beams of radiation in a focused (conformed) way. Compared to conventional radiation therapy, it delivers a higher dose of radiation to a more targeted area.

3D conformal radiation therapy vs intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is considered an advanced form of 3D-CRT. The technology uses multiple small photon or proton beams with variable intensity to treat tumours in a precise way. It allows stronger doses to be delivered to certain parts of the tumour, while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Why do you need conventional radiation therapy?

You may need conventional radiation therapy if you have:

Radiation therapy is usually intended to cure your cancer. However, sometimes the tumour may be too far advanced for the treatment to provide a cure. In this case, you will be given radiation therapy to relieve your pain. This is known as palliative radiation therapy.

What are the risks and complications of conventional radiation therapy?

The side effects of radiation therapy depend on your individual health along with factors such as:

  • Body part exposed to radiation
  • Dosage of radiation used

Common side effects may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blurry vision
  • Skin changes
  • Taste changes
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Sexual and fertility problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urinary issues

Most side effects are manageable and will subside once your treatment has ended.

Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?

Mount Elizabeth works closely with Parkway Cancer Centre to provide a suite of cancer treatments for our patients including conventional radiation therapy. Based in cosmopolitan Singapore, our multidisciplinary team consists of skilled doctors, nurses, counsellors and paramedical professionals.

Equipped with modern technologies and innovative therapies, we are committed to helping you achieve optimal clinical outcomes and win the fight against cancer.

Estimated cost

Private healthcare can be affordable. Use our Hospital Bill Estimator to determine the estimated cost of this procedure. If you have hospital insurance, find out how you can use your insurance.

Our radiation oncologists and medical oncologists

Our experienced team of radiation oncologists and cancer specialists at Mount Elizabeth is skilled in treating different types of cancer.

Using the latest technologies and therapies including conventional radiation therapy, we will customise your treatment with your care and comfort as our priorities.

This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

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