Palliative Radiation Therapy

Palliative radiation therapy is given to reduce the pain and swelling that accompanies some tumors. The goal of palliative therapy is not to cure the patient’s disease, but to improve the patient’s quality of life. Not every patient benefits from this treatment, but those who do often experience improvements lasting two to four months or longer, and pain control may start within days of the first radiation dose. When symptoms of the cancer return, palliative therapy may be repeated for most patients who responded to the first course of therapy.