Research shows that there are currently between three and seven million new cases of cancer being diagnosed worldwide every year. With the advent of new technologies, radiotherapy has developed and continues to be a major component of the armamentarium in the fight against cancer. According to a recent bulletin released by IAEA, a leading medical agency leading the way in publishing and researching cancer treatments, approximately 60% of all patients suffering from cancer undergo radiotherapy treatment during the course of their disease, whether it is used singularly or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy.
Since the discovery of x-rays over 100 years ago, the technology has been increasingly implemented in the medical fraternity for the purposes of diagnosis and treatment. So what is radiotherapy? Radiotherapy utilizes high energy x-rays and electrons to treat diseases, such as cancer. It does this by firing high speed ionizing radiation at the genetic code of abnormal cells, in an effort to destroy as many cancer cells as possible while minimizing the eradication of healthy cells. This is completed to ensure that the cells infected with cancer do not divide and replicate to produce more cancer cells, and the temporary spread of the disease through the body. The cells that are destroyed are erased of all genetic code and naturally rejected by the body's natural defences.
Even though the dividing of cancer cells is when the disease is trying to spread, this is the optimal time for radiotherapy to occur as the disease is more vulnerable to the x-rays emitted under the radiotherapy treatment. The exact timing of this division is hard to accurately define, and the reason why radiotherapy seasons are often conducted on a daily basis over a several week period. For those tumors that are too large to destroy, the treatment is used to alleviate the symptoms associated with the disease, while reducing its size and controlling its rate of division.
For those suffering from cancer, the stage at which they are diagnosed with the disease is one of the darkest periods of their life. With the support of family and expert medical care, many survive the ordinal, with a new appreciation for life on the other side. Those trying to secure a radiotherapy job realize the central role that they play in the lives of those suffering from the disease. Their experience and expertise is valued highly, both from the patient's point of view, and within the medical fraternity.