Current UV Index
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Alice Springs
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Gold Coast
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Click the indexes to view the minimum recommended protection

When the UV index is low, sun protection is generally not needed unless outside for extended periods

UV observations courtesy of ARPANSA


External beam radiation therapy uses x-rays to kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA. The treatment is much like getting an x-ray, but the radiation is stronger. The procedure itself is painless. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes, however more time is involved in the initial planning and setup for each treatment.

The number of radiotherapy treatments required can vary depend on the size and location of the area being treated.

Radiotherapy is rarely used to treat a primary (initial) melanoma.  It is however, often given after surgery in an area where lymph nodes were removed to try and lessen the likelihood of a recurrence, or return, of the cancer.  It is also used to treat melanoma that has recurred after surgery or to help treat disease that has spread (metastasised) to other areas. This treatment is referred to as palliative therapy. Palliative radiotherapy is not given with the intent to cure the cancer, but it might help shrink it or slow its growth for a time to help control some of the symptoms.

Possible side effects of radiation therapy

Common side effects depend on where the radiation is aimed and can include:

  • Sunburn-like skin problems
  • Hair loss where the radiation enters the body
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

Often these go away after treatment.

Radiation therapy to the brain can sometimes cause memory loss, headaches, trouble thinking, or reduced sexual desire.