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Posted by


I just wondered if you could give me more information on Radiotherapy please?

My grandmother has just been diagnosed with Lung, Liver & Stomach cancer, is this treatment an option for her? 

What is the recovery rate?

Can it cure her?

What are the side effects after treatment?

Sorry for so many questions but we are so confused

Many Thanks


Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Natalie,

Thanks for getting in touch with us and welcome to our Online Community.

It’s natural to feel confused and to have lots of questions after someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer. Hearing that news can be overwhelming and can be difficult to cope with.

Decisions about treatments for someone who has cancer is made by a group of experts called a MDT. What type of treatment they could offer your grandmother would depend on the the type and size of the cancer, and whether it has spread. They would also need to consider your grandmothers general health and whether she was fit enough to have treatments.

We would advise that with your grandmother’s permission as a family you speak to the doctors looking after. They will be able to answer your questions in more detail. And let you all know more information about her cancer as well as what treatments would be suitable for her to have.

I’m unsure from what you’re saying whether your grandmother has a cancer that has spread to different areas (secondary cancer) and if so where her cancer started (primary.) This would be more likely rather than her having three separate cancers. If that’s the case, then your grandmother will have an advanced cancer and treatments would be given to control the cancer rather than cure it. This is known as palliative treatment.

Many people with cancer will have radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. Radiotherapy may be given for different reasons. But it does have side effects and the doctors looking after your grandmother would have to weigh up the benefits versus the risks before recommending this as a treatment option. Recovery after this type of treatment depends on the dose given and how well your grandmothers general health is. The side effects can last for 2-4 weeks after treatment has finished.

If your grandmother is at home, she can get support from health and social care professionals. It would be worthwhile talking to her GP about what help is available. But you would need her permission to do this.

However, if she’s in hospital you can talk to the doctors/nurses looking after her and they can organise support to be put in place before she goes home. We have this leaflet that you can download that explains what you can expect to happen before someone goes home from hospital.

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to others going through a similar situation. If that is something that you think would be helpful to do, we have a very supportive family and friends group here on the Online Community that you can join.

Or you can call to our Support Line and speak to one of the nurses about what is happening with your grandmother.

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Macmillan Online Digital Nurse Specialist.