Radiation treatment is administered to you by a team of highly qualified healthcare professionals. This team is comprised of specialists that among them have years of experience in treating cancer. Some of the typical members of the team are listed below; depending on your particular case, other specialists may be asked to join the team.
The radiation oncologist is your doctor through this process—a medical doctor who specializes in the use of radiation for treating cancer. The radiation oncologist will prescribe, plan and direct your treatment and is responsible for deciding what method of radiation therapy is indicated for your case.
The medical physicist works with the dosimetrist and radiation oncologist to measure the precision of your treatment plan, working with the equipment to calculate the best angles to treat your tumor, or tumor site. The medical physicist also conducts frequent safety checks and makes sure that the equipment is working properly.
The dosimetrist works closely with the radiation oncologist and medical physicist in designing your treatment. The dosimetrist prescribes the length of time for each pulse of radiation, and develops strategies on how best to avoid giving radiation to healthy tissue in your body.
The radiation therapist will conduct your treatment each session. He or she will position you on the treatment table so that radiation can be delivered, run the equipment, and work very closely with the medical physicist during your treatment.
The radiation nurse coordinates your care, helps you learn about treatment, and tells you how to manage any side effects that you might experience.