Radiotherapy is administered to you by a team of highly qualified healthcare professionals, 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 treatment needs, other specialists may be asked to join the team.
The radiation oncologist is your doctor throughout 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 best for your case.
The medical physicist works with the dosimetrist and the radiation oncologist to measure the precision of your treatment plan, and works with the equipment to calculate the best angles to treat your tumor, or tumor site. The medical physicist also runs frequent safety checks and makes sure that the equipment is working properly.
The dosimetrist works closely with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to design your treatment. The dosimetrist determines the best angles from which to deliver the radiation, 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, 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.