The external beam radiation therapy is a special treatment method for delivering a beam or several beams of high-energy photons, electrons or protons through the skin to the cancer and the immediate surrounding area in order to destroy the main tumor and any nearby cancer cells. Typically the patient sits or lies on a couch and an external source of radiation is pointed at a particular part of the body. Electron beams are used for treating skin cancer and superficial structures and megavoltage photons or protons are used to treat deep-seated tumors (e.g. bladder, bowl, prostate, lung or brain).
Your radiation therapist can see, hear, and talk with you at all times while you are getting external beam radiation therapy.