What is radiotherapy and why do I need it?

Radiotherapy means the use of radiation (usually x-rays) and is used to treat cancer cells..

You could either need internal radiotherapy or external radiotherapy.  You might need to have it alongside other treatment such as chemotherapy or surgery.

Radiotherapy can be used to:

  • Try to cure cancer
  • Relieve the symptoms of cancer
  • Reduce the chance of cancer returning

There are different types of radiotherapy. Most use photons, some have electrons and more rarely protons.

The aim of radiotherapy

Each treatment is planned for each individual patient. It gives a high dose of radiotherapy to the cancer but aims to give a low dose to the surrounding healthy cells. This gives the best chance of curing the cancer or shrinking it whilst reducing the side effects.

The course of radiotherapy

Your specialist will take into account the following before deciding on your treatment:

  • The type of cancer you have
  • Where the cancer is in your body
  • Any other treatment you have had, that is planned or you are currently having
  • Your overall health and fitness

Radiotherapy with the aim of curing cancer, will usually last between 1 and 7 weeks

When radiotherapy is for the relief of symptoms, you may have a single treatment or up to two weeks of treatment, it could be longer. Your specialist will decide on how many treatments you need to have.

The above information is sourced from  https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

Is radiotherapy covered under my health insurance policy?

Most UK private medical insurance policies cover cancer within their core benefits. Their literature has a separate section for cancer cover and the benefits available are always made very clear.

As an example, if you had a policy with Vitality Health on their personal healthcare policy you would have advanced cancer cover within the core cover which includes *full cover for targeted therapies, biological therapies and immunotherapy. Giving you peace of mind that you have no benefit limits for any aspect of therapy treatment for cancer.

*cover in full providing you have no specific exclusion for cancer on your certificate of insurance for members who are fully medically underwritten. If you have moratorium underwriting the terms of the moratorium will apply.

Would like to know what cover you have in place on your private medical insurance policy for any treatment relating to cancer, the team at SMP Healthcare will be happy to explain this to you. If you are new to private medical insurance and want to know you are buying a policy with an excellent level of cancer cover, let us show you the options available.

You can contact us on:

Telephone:  0800 047 0127/ 01245 929129

Email: enquiries@smphealthcare.com