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109 People
Number of people in A&E department
1:30 Hours
Average wait to be seen by a clinician
2:22 Hours
Average time in the department

Radiotherapy Treatment

The Radiotherapy Department is situated within the Berkshire Cancer Centre (BCC), along with further services at the Royal Berkshire Bracknell Clinic.

Between the two radiotherapy sites at Reading and Bracknell, the department is well equipped with two CT scanners and virtual simulation software systems, a superficial X-ray unit, a high dose Brachytherapy unit, and four Elekta Linear Accelerators with the provision of external beam radiotherapy. These machines are operated by radiographers, offering complex treatment delivery whilst utilising high-energy radiation to target cancer cells across a variety of tumour sites.

What is radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is the provision of high energy ionizing radiation treatment to control or destroy malignant cancer cells and can be curative or palliative, depending on the patient’s histology and staging. A variety of cancer types and sites can be treated with radiotherapy, allowing its provision to reach the wider cancer population. Each treatment is delivered using a linear accelerator machine.

Radiotherapy is categorised under the Oncology speciality, and can be delivered in conjunction with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery.

The types of radiotherapy we offer

The department currently provides the following types of radiotherapy, depending on each patient’s individual treatment regime.

  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): radiation beams are precisely tailored to conform to the shape of the cancer site or tumour, and less radiation dose is delivered to normal, healthy tissue. IMRT minimises the side effects that patients may experience from a course of treatment.
  • Volumetric arc therapy (VMAT): radiation beams are delivered in an ‘arc’ shape around the patient, providing accurate, and efficient treatment delivery.
  • Surface guided radiotherapy: SGRT uses sophisticated 3D camera technology to allow real time visualisation of the patient and any physical movements during Radiotherapy. This maintains the precision required for specific radiotherapy treatments.
  • Adaptive radiotherapy: the treatment is adapted during each fraction, to account for patient internal anatomical changes. This maximises the dose to the cancer site or tumour.

All patients receiving a course of radiotherapy will have the opportunity to discuss their treatment plan with their Consultant, and the Radiographers.

The radiotherapy team

We have a variety of staff, including clinical practitioners, and specialities for advanced clinical practice including: education and training; research and development; image guided radiation therapy; brachytherapy; superficial radiotherapy; dosimetry and radiotherapy planning; on treatment support for cancer patients; and localisation and planning for palliative care.

The department also contributes to the training of the future radiographer workforce through its provision of undergraduate clinical placements for students from the University of Hertfordshire.

Clinic hours and where to find us

Our clinic is open Monday - Friday from 8am-5pm.

Where to find us: The nearest car park at our London Road entrance. The Berkshire Cancer Centre and Radiotherapy clinic is accessed through the entrance in the top right hand corner of the car park. For patients on regular treatment schedules in radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the department will issue a car parking permit for the length of your treatment. Disabled parking is available on West Drive, which can be accessed via Redlands Road.

How to contact us

For general enquiries please contact:

The Radiotherapy Department
Berkshire Cancer Centre
Royal Berkshire Hospital
London Road
Reading
RG1 5AN

Telephone: 0118 322 7872

For patient queries regarding Radiotherapy treatment side effects please contact our on Treatment Review Radiographers: 0118 322 8869

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Social Media - Keep up-to-date with radiotherapy service improvements and department updates:

Twitter: @BCCRadiotherapy
Instagram: BccRadiotherapy
Facebook: BCC Radiotherapy RBNHSFT

Nearby facilities

Refreshment points:

  • Convenience store (Main Entrance Block)
  • Coffee bar (Main Entrance Block)
  • Restaurant on level 1 (South Block)
  • League of Friends shop and tea bar (Maternity Block)

Helping you understand your radiotherapy treatment

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Radiotherapy for breast cancer

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Radiotherapy for gynecological cancer

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Radiotherapy for head and neck cancers

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Radiotherapy for prostate cancer