- Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families
- What is radiation therapy? When is it used?
- How does radiation therapy work?
- Do the benefits outweigh the risks and side effects?
- How much does radiation treatment cost?
- Who gives radiation treatments?
- Informed consent
- How is radiation therapy given?
- External radiation therapy
- Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy)
- Systemic radiation therapy
- Preventing and managing side effects
- Skin problems
- Hair loss
- Blood count changes
- Eating problems
- How will I feel emotionally?
- Will side effects limit my activity?
- Are there long-term side effects I should be concerned about?
- Managing side effects of treatment to certain parts of the body
- Radiation therapy to the head and neck
- Radiation therapy to the brain
- Radiation therapy to the breast and chest
- Radiation therapy to the stomach and abdomen
- Radiation therapy to the pelvis
- Follow-up care
- To learn more
Who gives radiation treatments?
During your radiation therapy, you will have a team of medical professionals caring for you. Your team may include these people:
- Radiation oncologist: A doctor specially trained to treat cancer patients with radiation. This person is in charge of your radiation treatment plan.
- Radiation physicist: This is the person who makes sure the radiation equipment is working as it should and gives you the dose prescribed by your radiation oncologist.
- Dosimetrist: Supervised by the radiation physicist, this person helps the radiation oncologist plan the treatment.
- Radiation therapist or radiation therapy technologist: This is the person who operates the radiation equipment and positions you for treatment.
- Radiation therapy nurse: This nurse has special training in cancer treatment and can give you information about radiation treatment and managing side effects.
You may also need the services of a dietitian, physical therapist, medical or clinical social worker, dentist or dental oncologist, or other health care professionals.
Last Medical Review: 01/24/2013
Last Revised: 01/24/2013