While you are undergoing radiation therapy, a team of highly trained medical professionals will be working together to make sure you are receiving the best care possible. This team is led by a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.
Radiation oncologists are the doctors who will oversee your radiation therapy treatments. These physicians work with the other members of the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and ensure that each treatment is given safely and accurately. Your radiation oncologist will also monitor your progress and adjust the treatment as necessary to make sure the radiation is hitting its target while minimizing side effects. Before, during and after your radiation therapy treatments, your radiation oncologist works closely with other cancer doctors such as medical oncologists and surgeons to maximize the radiation’s effectiveness.
Radiation oncologists are the only physicians with the expertise and training to prescribe and deliver radiation therapy treatments. In addition to college and medical school, five years of additional training are required for radiation oncologists. Radiation oncologists receive extensive training in cancer medicine, in the safe use of radiation to treat disease and in managing any side effects caused by radiation. Radiation oncologists must pass an examination by the American Board of Radiology to become board certified.