Also known as Radiotherapy
Radiation oncology (radiotherapy/radiation therapy) is a medical speciality that is an essential part of a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. It uses high energy x rays(photons) most commonly delivered through a linear accelerator. These therapeutic x rays are painless and invisible and are used to treat a number of different cancers. The linear accelerator is housed within a cancer centre and a multidisciplinary team comprising of radiation oncologists (your specialist doctor), nurses, radiation therapists and medical physicists will talk to you about radiation therapy as a treatment option, assess you, plan and deliver your treatment as well as help you with any side effects you experience.
There may be an interval before your treatment is ready to be delivered due to the time needed to plan this highly specialised treatment. Your team will talk to you about the expected start date of your treatment. This time is used to personalise the treatment to your situation and to ensure the treatment is delivered safely and accurately with as minimal side effects as possible. Your team will also help you with treating any side effects and advising you on recovery from your treatment. Your radiation oncologist may also carry on caring for you after completion of your treatment. The goals of the treatment can be to cure you of cancer, to control the growth of the cancer or to reduce the symptoms of cancer such as pain. Radiation therapy is a part of treatment in around 40% of all patients cured of cancer.