The myths that make cancer patients shun radiotherapy

Cancer patients are turning down radiotherapy because of misplaced fears about it being toxic or causing other cancers, an Australian survey reveals.

Underuse of radiotherapy is also being driven by practical barriers, such as cost and having to travel to specialist centres, according to a survey of 1191 cancer patients in NSW.

The study of patients who had been offered radiotherapy showed that 25% experienced fear and anxiety about having the treatment, and this influenced their decision-making.

Concerns over the long-term side effects of radiotherapy swayed 43% in deciding whether or