Radiation Therapy for Cancer

Authors: David Jaffray, Mary Gospodarowicz


Radiation therapy (RT) is a key component of a comprehensive cancer treatment program, with the potential to contribute to effective and appropriate care in 50 percent of all cancer cases, alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. The optimal deployment of radiotherapy requires the environment where the diagnostic services

Safe and effective RT requires trained staff, dedicated equipment, and a highly coordinated operational department. Numerous guidelines have been developed to guide safe equipment commissioning and radiotherapy facility operations. The global community offers resources to establish RT services. Countries at all economic levels have successfully developed RT initiatives, but access in low-income countries and low-and-middle-income countries is severely limited; only 20 percent of the population in Africa has access. Inadequate access to radiotherapy has also been observed in Europe, South America, and Asia. Although there are numerous barriers to radiotherapy, progress in establishing improved access has been observed in jurisdictions. It is important that radiotherapy be included in all population based cancer control plans as an essential element of cancer therapy armamentarium.



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