Radiation Oncology - Radiation Therapy treatment

The Radiation Oncology Department is part of the Canterbury Regional Cancer & Haematology Service and is located at Christchurch Hospital. It is one of only two public departments in the South Island that provide cancer patients with Radiation Therapy treatment.

Oncology Service Location Map

The department currently sees 1600 patients per year with an average of 100 treatments delivered each day. The department's working hours are 7.30am - 4.45pm. 

The centre has four treatment machines, known as Linear Accelerators or Linacs. It also has a CT scanner and a High Dose Rate Brachytherapy machine capable of delivering internal radiation treatment.

How is Radiation Therapy Treatment given?

Radiation treatment is delivered by a Linear Accelerator which uses electricity to generate forms of high energy radiation.

The machines are large and make a buzzing sound when they are switched on and although sometimes they get a little close they shouldn't touch you and does not cause any discomfort. The Linacs are also equipped to take high-quality x-rays pictures which are used to confirm that you are in exactly the right position before we treat you.

To minimise side effects, treatments are usually given 4-5 times a week, Monday - Friday for a set number of appointments.  This allows the delivery of enough radiation into the body to kill the cancer while giving healthy cells time to recover. 

If you would like a tour of the Radiation Therapy department, please see the below flyer for details.

Patient tour poster 2016.pdf 

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy Treatment

See Radiation Side Effects


You are welcome to bring family or support people with you when you come for your appointments in the Radiation Therapy department. They may accompany you into the room while you are moved into the correct position but will be asked to leave the room before your treatment starts.

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Page last reviewed: 02 September 2016
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