Radiotherapy (or radiation therapy) is not commonly used to treat melanoma, however, there are some instances where it may be useful such as if the melanoma has spread to singular areas of the body such as the lungs, adrenals, lymph nodes or even the brain, also known as brain metastases. The radiotherapy would be targeted (stereotactic radiotherapy) which may be known as Gamma Knife or CyberKnife.
The treatment involves using an X-ray machine focussed to administer high energy rays of radiation to the treatment area. The treatment schedule will vary from patient to patient and before treatment starts, the team will take careful measurements to calculate the dose and the angles of the radiation beams.
The treatment doesn’t usually take more than a few minutes and your won’t feel anything while it is happening. You may have a single treatment or several treatments each week over a number of weeks as an outpatient and so you will need to travel to hospital for this. Your medical team will go through your treatment plan with you and the possible side effects.