Introduction to Radiation Oncology






More than 50% of people with cancer will receive radiation at some point in their illness.


Radiation Oncologists are expert in the local treatment of cancer with radiation (external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy).  Most patients are treated with radiation on an outpatient basis.  In some cases extreme symptoms or emergency conditions such as spinal cord compression necessitate inpatient treatment. 

Radiation treatment is an important modality for cure and palliation and is used alone and in combination with other treatments.



After completing this module you will be able to:

  • describe the role of radiation oncology in the management of patients with cancer and the practice of radiation oncology as it relates to other oncological specialties

  • explain the mechanism of action of radiation therapy

  • describe the pathophysiology of side effects of radiation therapy

  • list the members of the radiation team