New resource to explain radiation therapy

Highly effective treatment for cancer
  • Deborah Condon

A new online course, which aims to inform cancer patients and their families about radiation therapy, has been launched by Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

Radiation therapy is a highly effective and efficient treatment that is indicated for use in up to 60% of all cancers. It involves the use of high-energy rays to cure or control the disease.

However, according to associate professor and head of discipline of radiation therapy at TCD, Michelle Leech, this type of treatment is often misunderstood by the public, which can lead to fear and anxiety among patients and their families.

The aim of this new resource is to ‘empower patients with the knowledge to assist them in deciding, together with their medical team, as to the best treatment for their cancer'.

"Radiation therapy is indicated in the management of between 50-60% of all cancers, and 40% of all cancer cures have radiation therapy as part of their management, which is a phenomenal rate that most people are not aware of.

"The aim of this course is to bring the potential of radiation therapy as a cancer management option into the public arena, as well as providing clear information to patients and their families about what to expect if they are attending for radiation therapy," she explained.

The course has been developed by TCD in collaboration with colleagues from national and international organisations, including the Irish Cancer Society and the European Cancer Organisation.

It starts on September 3 and is free of charge. It is open to cancer patients, their families and friends, and healthcare professionals from outside the field of radiation oncology.

It lasts for two weeks and topics that will be covered include, the role of radiation oncology in the management of cancer, the role of different healthcare professionals working in this field, the basic science behind radiation therapy and upcoming technological developments.

The course, 'From Diagnosis to Survivorship: An Introduction to Radiation Oncology' is open to anyone worldwide. To register, click here


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