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Radiotherapy Oncology Service

Radiation Oncology Department

Cork University Hospital

Phone 021 4234700

The Radiation Oncology Department serves Cork, Kerry, Waterford and South Tipperary. The Radiation Oncology Department has a CT scanner, simulator, four linear accelerators, superficial unit, brachytherapy, mould room and isotope unit. The department works in close collaboration with other departments including surgery, medical oncology (chemotherapy), haematology, palliative care, histopathology and radiology. 

Those visiting the Radiation Oncology Department will see a consultant radiation oncologist and their team, nursing staff and radiation therapists who deliver the radiation treatment. A radiation oncologist is a specialist consultant who will prescribe the radiation therapy treatment. This includes what kind of radiation is needed, what area of the body will be treated, how much radiation will be given and what radiation energy is best for the individual patient. A radiation therapist delivers the radiation therapy.

The department is a teaching unit affiliated with University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and dividing. Like surgery, radiation therapy is a local treatment; it affects cancer cells only in the treated area. Radiation can come from a machine (external beam  radiotherapy). It can also come from an implant (a small container of radioactive material) placed directly into or near the tumour (brachytherapy). Some patients receive both kinds of radiation therapy. Radiation can be used to cure the cancer, to prevent recurrence or as palliation (to ease the symptoms).

External radiation therapy is usually given five days a week (Mon - Fri). A course of treatment may range from one to 37 treatments. Each daily treatment is called a fraction and each fraction may be divided into a number of sections called fields.

RadiationOncology2 Like all forms of cancer treatment,radiation therapy can have side effects. Possible side effects of treatment with radiation include skin irritation, temporary change in skin colour in the treated area, fatigue and temporary or permanent loss of hair (only in the area being treated). Other side effects are largely dependent on the area of the body that is treated.

Further details on receiving a course of radiation therapy can be got by viewing our treatment information leaflets.

The terms used in radiation oncology are explained in our Dictionary of Terms.

Radiation Therapist led Review Clinic - Patients undergoing radiation therapy experience side effects which are monitored daily by a radiation therapist and weekly by the medical team. There are two weekly radiation review clinics which are managed by radiation therapists who have undergone additional training which was funded by Aid Cancer Treatment ACT. 

We have a dedicated Information and Support Room which provides information, support and assistance to patients during new patient clinics and throughout their treatment.

Where Are We?

radio entranceThe Radiation Oncology Department is located on the ground floor adjacent to the X-Ray Department and can be accessed through the main or outpatients entrances . There is a drop off area for patients, signposted Radiotherapy and Oncology Set Down which can be found by entering the hospital main gate, turn right and take the first left. Parking is not available at the drop off area and must be found elsewhere.


Patient Information Leaflets

Understanding RadiotherapyDownload 
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to Head and Neck areaDownload71kb
Patients receiving Radiotherapy to the BrainDownload64kb
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to Lung/Oesophagus or ChestDownload61kb
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to Breast areaDownload60kb
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to Colorectal areaDownload60kb
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to Prostate or BladderDownload61kb
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to Pelvic areaDownload62kb
Patients receiving a course of Brachytherapy to PelvisDownload59kb
Patients receiving Radiation Therapy to the SkinDownload58kb
Patients receiving short course of RadiotherapyDownload59kb
Patients receiving a single session of RadiotherapyDownload63kb
Patients attending the Mould Room for a shellDownload47kb
Patients attending for an OrfitDownload46kb
Support ServicesDownload52kb
Points to remember after TreatmentDownload 
Other Chemotherapy & Radiotherapy InformationDownload 
Chemotherapy Day Unit & Support GroupsDownload 
Handy HintsDownload