Radiation Oncology is a Clinical discipline and the most important activity within the Department is patient service, as more than 50% of cancers are curable. Where it is not possible to cure, the aim is to improve patient well-being. Palliative treatment is important in order to relieve symptoms such as pain and bleeding and may enable patients to return to useful functioning within their families and work place.
Approximately 3000 new patients are seen per annum and many patients return for follow up visits for long periods of time.
The planning and administration of Radiation Therapy is technically exacting and must be done with care and skill, as large doses of irradiation are delivered to the patient. Close collaboration with Medical Physics, Radiobiology, Planning and Treatment Radiation Therapists and Oncology Nursing staff is essential.
Within the Radiation Oncology Division, all new patients are assessed in multi-disciplinary clinics. The most appropriate treatment is recommended by a panel of doctors, and this may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy or best supportive care. Patients and their families also have access to social services and counseling.
Most of the the multi-disciplinary clinics meet on a weekly basis in L Block (Schedule available under Clinical Activities).