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Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy Equipement

Our Services

Description


Radiotherapy is the medical use of ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells. The aim of radiotherapy is ​to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumour area and minimize the dose to normal surrounding tissues. Radiotherapy is a localized treatment and affects cancer cells only in the area treated. Radiotherapy is planned on an individual basis. It can be used as a curative treatment also known as radical treatment with the aim of destroying a tumour and curing the cancer, or as a palliative treatment, when it is not possible to cure the cancer, with the aim to relieve symptoms such as pain. Lower doses of radiotherapy are delivered for palliative treatments than for radical ones.

Procedure


The person who fulfils the eligibility criteria to benefit from this service can be referred by a Consultant within the Department of Health.

Eligibility


All Maltese citizens and foreign patients who provide the documentation showing that they are entitled for free treatment. Others will have to pay for each radiotherapy and planning session attended.

Required Documents


I.D card.

Back Office Process


Once a patient is referred for radiotherapy, he/she is seen by the Consultant Oncologist. If a decision is taken that the patient needs radiotherapy, a request to perform a planning CT-scan is made.

For the planning CT-scan the patient is positioned according to the site of treatment. This position is to be reproduced daily during the whole course of radiation treatment. At the end of the CT-scan three tiny permanent markers are made. In case of head and neck patients these markers will be on a thermoplastic mask which is worn during the radiotherapy treatment. These markers will serve as reference points to locate the exact site of treatment. At the end of the CT-scan session the patient is sent home and will be contacted by phone when to start the radiotherapy treatment.

From the CT-scan images, the Consultant Oncologist marks the treatment area to be treated by radiation. According to the prescribed radiation dose and treatment volume a radiotherapy treatment plan is prepared. When this plan is approved by the Consultant Oncologist, the patient will be contacted and an appointment given to start the radiotherapy treatment.
 
 
Depending on various factors, duration of radiotherapy treatment mostly takes from one to seven weeks. It is delivered on a daily basis during weekdays, except weekends and public holidays. During treatment depending on the site of treatment there might be some side effects. The Radiation Therapists or focal nurses will explain, direct and advice the patient accordingly if these side effects occur.
 
At the end of the radiotherapy course, the patient is seen by the Consultant Oncologist who will explain the next step forward.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Question: How long does the actual treatment takes?
Answer. The actual treatment takes a few minutes. The average including set-up takes about 15 mins.
 
 
 
Question: How long is the course of radiotherapy treatment?
 
Answer: The duration varies. The majority of radiotherapy courses take between 3 to 7 weeks.
 
 
 
Question: When do I have to attend?
 
Answer: Treatment is on a daily basis from Monday to Friday except weekends and public holidays.
 
 
 
Question: Do I feel something while having Radiotherapy on the treatment machine?
 
Answer: You feel nothing.
 
 
 
Question: Are there any side effects?
 
Answer: There might be some side effects depending on various factors. If they occur, you are given advice of what to do, or if necessary prescribed some medicine.
 
 
 
Question: Where is this service available?
 
Answer: Currently it is only available at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital. In a few months time this service will be available at the new Oncology & Haematology Centre at Mater Dei Hospital. It is not available in Gozo and private hospitals.
 
 
Statistical Data
Year

Total
1999
13677
2000
12759
2001
14379
2002
14252
2003
13916
2004
14277
2005
15333
2006
13817
2007
14494
2008
15934
2009
16767
2010
14134
2011
16001
2012
15692
2013
16714
 
 
Downloads
 
 

How to Contact Us

You can contact us by: 

  • Coming personally to our office
  • Contacting us via phone or fax 
  • Writing to us 

 

O​​ur Office

Address
Radiotherapy Department
Sir Paul Boffa Hospital
Harper Lane
Floriana
 
Telephone
22987163—Secretary / 22987147--Receptionist
 
Fax
22987185
 
E-mail Secretary
 
 
 
Opening hours

We are open during the following hours:
Monday-Friday         7.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m.
Closing time might need to be extended depending on workload.


When you visit our Office we will:
  • Be quick, courteous and helpful
  • Welcome you in a clean and friendly environment.


When you phone us you can expect us to:
  • Answer promptly
  • Identify ourselves. 
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