Radiation oncologists are medical professionals who specialize in treating patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. For patients with many types of cancer radiation therapy can be used either to either eliminate the cancer or to prolong the lives of those with incurable cancer. When radiation treatments are deemed an appropriate treatment radiation oncologists become members of a medical team that includes an oncologist and in some cases a surgeon. Radiation oncologists have expertise in using three-dimensional images to locate and determine the nature of a tumor. In conjunction with medical oncologists they plan treatments with x-rays radioactive isotopes andor electron beams in strengths that will destroy cancer cells while at the same time attempting to preserve healthy bodily tissue. Radiation oncologists see their patients on a regular basis to check on any side effects and whether adjustments to the treatment plan are necessary. It is very important that they be good at communicating with patients and offering emotional support throughout the course of the treatment. Radiation oncologists work in hospitals but some are in private practice either individually or in groups. However some work in research labs or at universities where they study new radiation technologies and teach medical students. Radiation oncologists first earn a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in science courses. Then they complete four years at an accredited medical school after which they serve one year in an internship and an additional four years of residency. Some complete fellowships in order to specialize in radiation techniques for specific types of cancer. Once training is complete they are certified by the American Board of Radiology for period of 10 years. In addition they must pass the United States Licensing Examination in order to become licensed. The website www.ehow.com says that radiation oncologists earn an average annual salary of approximately $151000.
|Education Required:||Doctoral Degree|
|Tasks:||Treats cancers and tumors through radiation therapy.
Determines the type of radiation therapy to be used on specific patients.
Sees patients regularly to monitor their progress.
Collaborates with a team of doctors regarding treatment options.
|Also Called:||Cancer Doctor