Thousands of cancer patients are set to be spared from weeks of back-to-back hospital visits - after studies and trials have shown that five days of treatment, or even less, can be just as effective at blasting away tumours.
People having radiotherapy, which uses powerful radiation beams to kill cancer cells, would once have had their lives turned upside down.
Daily visits to hospital, often for up to six weeks, were the norm - with work and family life put on hold.
But now - thanks to advances in technology and precision techniques - this no longer has to be the case.
‘So much easier': Karen Davis, 52, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, whose breast cancer radiotherapy took five days, not three weeks.
She has been free from cancer ever since
Over the past two decades, UK doctors have led efforts to show that delivering bigger doses of radiation over fewer sessions can be just as successful at treating some cancer types.
And trials are repeatedly showing it to be safe, without additional side effects, despite concerns that higher doses could cause greater damage to healthy tissue.
As NHS clinics looked for ways to make treatment for cancer patients more efficient during the pandemic, many have now adopted these methods.
As a result, a growing number of NHS patients with cancer in the breast, bowel, prostate and lung are now receiving shorter - and more convenient - courses of radiotherapy.
‘Patients want the best treatment,' says Dr Jeanette Dickson, President of the Royal College of Radiologists and a consultant lung oncologist.
‘But they also want minimal disruption to their lives.
If four weeks is as good as six weeks, or one week as good as three weeks, they prefer the shorter option.'
In December, The Mail on Sunday reported on how specialists hoped that breast cancer could soon be beaten in a week.
And the findings of a new UK study, published this April in medical journal The Lancet, has now proved that to be the case.
Over two decades, UK doctors have led efforts to show delivering bigger doses of radiation over fewer sessions can be just as successful at treating some cancer types (file photo)
There are about 55,200 new cases of breast cancer in the UK every year - and 63 per cent of patients will go on to have radiotherapy as part of their initial treatment.
Normally, women with early-stage breast cancer receive 15 doses of radiation to their tumour after surgery, delivered over three weeks.
But the FAST-Forward trial, led by a team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, found that giving five larger daily doses over the course of one week is just as safe and effective.
It is hoped this will change standard practice in the UK - and make the treatment of breast cancer more convenient for women.
Karen Davis, 52, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2013, after discovering a tiny lump in her left breast.
‘I was 45 years old and I just thought I was going to die - it was horrible,' she says.
Karen, who runs a hairdressing and beauty business, as well as a wig studio for women who lose their hair through cancer, was offered the chance to take part in the trial.
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS health" data-version="2" id="mol-807467b0-b31c-11ea-80ef-434e1661d86c" website breast, lung, bowel and prostate cancer can be treated in a WEEK