Does radiation therapy always result in hair loss?
Any part of the skin that has hair might undergo hair loss following radiation therapy. However, this is typically not permanent, and hair will regrow when treatment is concluded. Still, many common forms of chemotherapy, used in conjunction with radiation treatment, will also cause temporary hair loss throughout the body.
What is a radiation oncologist?
A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician focusing on treating cancer through radiation therapy. Radiation oncologists must be certified as medical doctors and usually undergo a four-year residency in a general oncology (cancer study) department.
Who is generally on a radiation oncology team?
The head radiation oncologist is usually supported by several technicians and nurse practitioners to handle equipment and assist with treatment. They may also be supported by a radiologist team that will perform the imaging scans necessary to view some cancers inside the body.
When is a patient referred to a radiation oncologist?
Patients are usually referred to a radiation oncologist by a general practitioner, or to a general oncologist after a positive cancer diagnosis.
Which types of cancer are the best candidates for radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy is most effective when it can be targeted as close to the cancerous mass as possible while limiting exposure to healthy tissues. There are several different techniques and specialized machines that could be more effective for one type of cancer over another.