When you receive radiation therapy, you will be treated by a team of highly skilled and professional team of individuals. These individuals play different roles.
Radiation oncologists are licensed and board certified doctors who oversee the entire course of your radiation treatment. Radiation oncologists are the only physicians with expertise and medical training to prescribe and deliver radiation. You will meet with the radiation oncologist for your initial consultation who will review your medical history, medical imaging (CT, MRI, PET/CT scan), results of your biopsy results, and more. Your physician will then determine if radiation therapy would benefit you and determine where in the body to deliver the radiation and how much radiation to give. Your radiation oncologists works closely with your medical oncologist and surgeons to ensure seamless multidisciplinary care.
Your physician works with other members of the radiation treatment team to develop your personalized radiation treatment plan and ensure that the radiation delivered is safe and accurately delivered. Your radiation oncologist will meet with you weekly during your radiation treatment to monitor your progress, and identify radiation induced side effects. Your radiation oncologist will help ensure that any side effects are resolved and adjust treatment as necessary.
Radiation Oncology Nurse
Radiation Oncology nurses work with the radiation oncologist and radiation therapists. They assess how you are doing through your treatment. They also help arrange and coordinate your care. Fore example, radiation oncology nursing will communicate with the nurses in medical oncology to coordinate chemotherapy if you require chemotherapy and radiation at the same time. They also provide supportive care to you and your family before, during, and after your radiation treatment. All radiation oncology nurses have achieved and maintain registered nursing credentials and some may have additional training and certification in oncology nursing.
You will see your radiation therapists daily. They work with the radiation oncologists to deliver your daily radiation treatment as prescribed by your radiation oncologist. They maintain daily treatment records. They additionally run the CT scanner to collect the data used in generating a treatment plan for you. Our radiation therapists love working with patients and happily greet you at every visit. Radiation therapists receive special radiation therapist training programs, are certified by American Registry of Radiology Technologists, and are licensed by the State of California.
Medical physicists ensure that all equipment including the linear accelerators that deliver your radiation treatments are working properly. They work with medical dosimetrists to generate radiation treatment plans. They run quality assurance checks on each personalized patient radiation treatment plan to ensure that each plan is optimized to deliver the correct prescribed dose of radiation to the locations prescribed by the physician while minimizing radiation doses to adjacent organs. Additionally, they run daily, weekly, and monthly quality assurance checks on the machines to ensure that the linear accelerators that treat you will deliver the correct amount of radiation within 1 mm accuracy. Medical physicists hold a masters or PhD degree, receive 2 year post-graduate training in medical physics, and are board certified the American Board of Medical Physics.
Medical dosimetrists use computers to generate complex radiation treatment plans that optimize delivery of radiation to the tumor while reducing radiation to the adjacent normal organs. Dosimetrists work with radiation oncologist and medical physicist to fine tune each treatment plan.