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How safe is radiation therapy?

How safe is radiation therapy?

As Eduardo mentioned in the video, radiation therapy is a very safe treatment. Radiation oncology departments are subject to highly rigorous safety checks and audits. In fact, safety checks for radiation oncology departments are developed from the same principles as the aviation industry.

Radiation therapy treatments are coordinated and checked by many members of the expert treatment team. The treatment plan is:

Commonly, all treatment plans are peer reviewed at multidisciplinary team meetings to ensure the highest standards.

Radiation therapy machines

Treatment machines (linear accelerators) are maintained and checked by the clinical engineer and medical physicist to ensure that they are both

  • geometrically (the shape of the beams) and
  • dosimetrically (radiation dose that comes from the machine) accurate at all times.

Every radiation therapy department has protocols in place to ensure that if the linear accelerators do not meet the required safety standard that they are taken out of use.

Radiation oncology departments

Radiation oncology departments are designed so that they are completely safe for patients and visitors. Radiation warning signs are seen in radiation oncology departments to ensure that the public does not have access to the linear accelerators. These machines can only be operated by expert members of the radiation oncology team, which are the radiation therapists.

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An Introduction to Radiation Oncology: From Diagnosis to Survivorship

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