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Radiation Therapy Program

The Radiation Therapy Department of Health Sciences North is a state of the art facility. The Cancer Centre currently receives over 3000 new cancer patients each year, and conducts approximately 38,000 radiation therapy visits. 

We believe that the trust of our patients is our most valued asset. Our staff is committed to providing quality driven, technologically advanced cancer treatment. We follow the latest developments in technology and advances within our technical expertise while ensuring a caring and compassionate environment.

Each person coming to the centre for treatment is a unique patient. You may be referred to a Radiation Oncologist for consultation.Tests may be done to help understand the type and the extent of cancer a patient has. The results will help determine if a patient should be treated using radiation therapy. Radiation treatment can be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and surgery. Should radiation treatment be required, a planning session will be booked


What is radiation therapy?

  • The treatment of cancer using radiation,
  • It mainly involves the use of x-rays,
  • Like regular x-rays, the radiation used in cancer treatments cannot be seen or felt

How Is Radiation Used To Treat Cancer?

  • Radiation places energy in the cells of your body using high-energy x rays.
  • The energy from the radiation will damage or destroy the cells along its path.
  • The radiation must pass through and come close to normal healthy tissue in order to reach the affected cells that may be present.
  • The amount of radiation that your healthy tissues receive are kept as low as possible.

There are 2 main ways radiation is used to treat cancer

  1. The most common way is using x-rays called external radiation. This is when radiation is directed from outside the body to an area inside the body.
  2. The other way to deliver radiation is with internal radiation. This treatment involves placing radiation sources inside the body to treat cancer.

Some patients may have both internal and external radiation treatments.


The radiation therapy team that will plan and deliver your radiation treatments are called Radiation Therapists. You will need a special kind of CT scan to design your treatment plan. This scan will take about 30-45 minutes.

What to expect during the planning CT scan

  • You will need to lie flat on a hard table that will move in and out of a large open hole that will not touch you.
  • The radiation therapists will help place you in a stable position that you can hold for a period of time.
  • It is important that you can lie still in the same position each day for your treatments.
  • If you are having treatment to your head or neck area a mask may be made in order to keep your head still.
  • A pillow may be designed to help support your arms above your head.

Pictures used for planning

The planning CT scan takes pictures of your body in slices like a loaf of bread. Your Radiation doctor will use these pictures to plan your treatments.

Marking the treatment area

The Radiation Therapist will need to draw on your skin or mask for the planning CT scan. The marks that are drawn on your skin will wash off in a few days.


  • The marks on your skin will need to be made permanent in order to set you up for treatment each day
  • Permanent marks are called tattoos and will not wash off
  • A tattoo is made by placing a small amount of ink under the surface of your skin using a needle

After your planning CT scan, the radiation therapist will work with your radiation doctor to plan your treatments. The time to create your treatment plan can vary. Treatment may start within a few days or a few weeks.

Preparing for treatment

You may be asked to prepare for treatment each day. Follow the guidelines given to you by your treatment team.

Placing you for treatment

The radiation therapists will need to see the area in order to place you for treatment each day. You may need to remove your clothing or gown.

For your safety

  • The treatment beds are raised high off the ground to place you in the correct position.
  • A safety belt will be placed around you.
  • It will be important for you to remain still on the bed until you have been told it is safe to move.
  • You can be seen and heard at all times during treatment.


Smoking can affect how radiation works on your cells and can affect your treatment. If you currently use tobacco products, we ask that you do not smoke one hour before and after your radiation treatment. Speak to any member of your healthcare team to find out more about the benefits of quitting and the resources to help you.

Checking your position

Your treatment position will be checked on your 1st day and during your treatments using x-rays images.

What To expect during treatment

  • The treatment machine will not touch you as it moves.
  • You will hear noises when the radiation is being given.
  • You will not feel or see the radiation.

Radiation treatment bookings

  • You will get a call within a few days before you start.
  • Treatment can start any day of the week.
  • We are closed on weekends and on most holidays.
  • We will try our best to meet your needs for times.
  • If you have not received a call within two weeks of your planning CT scan call (705)522-6237 ext. 2022

Your radiation team is here to support you through your treatment journey. Feel free to ask questions or request help at any time.


Read more about Radiation Therapy

Contact Us

Health Sciences North
Ramsey Lake Health Centre
Northeast Cancer Centre, Level 1
41 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 5J1

Phone: 705-522-6237 ext. 2022

Hours: 6:30am – 5:30pm