Radiation therapy is the medical use of ionizing radiation to kill malignant cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be curative in a number of types of cancer if they are localized to one area of the body. It may also be used as part of curative therapy, to prevent tumor recurrence after surgery to remove a primary malignant tumor.

Radiation therapy is the medical use of ionizing radiation to kill malignant cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be curative in a number of types of cancer if they are localized to one area of the body. It may also be used as part of curative therapy, to prevent tumor recurrence after surgery to remove a primary malignant tumor.

Radiation therapy is applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control cell growth. Ionizing radiation works by damaging the DNA of exposed tissue leading to cellular death. To spare skin or other organs from radiation shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles of exposure to intersect at the tumor. Besides the tumor itself, the radiation fields may also include the draining lymph nodes if they are clinically or radiologically involved with tumor, or if there is thought to be a risk of subclinical malignant spread.

Radiation therapists use advanced computer systems to operate sophisticated radiation therapy equipment. The therapist works closely with the Radiation oncologists, Medical Physicists and other members of the health care team; they design and treat the course of radiation treatment, in addition to managing the patient's well-being. Radiation Therapists primarily treat cancer although other disorders and conditions can be managed through the care of radiation therapists.

After the radiation oncologist has consulted with the patient and a decision has been reached that the application of radiation will benefit the patient, the Radiation Therapist interprets the prescription and develops a treatment plan. Since the course of radiation therapy can extend over several weeks, the radiation therapist is responsible for monitoring the condition of the patient and is required to assess if changes to the treatment plan are required. This is accomplished through patient re-positioning, dose calculations or other specialized methods to compensate for the changes. The therapist is responsible for quality assurance of the radiation treatment, which involves acquiring and recording all parameters needed to deliver the treatment accurately. The therapist ensures that the treatment set-up is correctly administered and takes imaging studies of the targeted treatment area, which reproduces the patient positioning and plan parameters daily. Radiation therapists are responsible for the accuracy of the treatment. They must use their judgment to ensure quality with regard to all aspects of treatment delivery.

An Associate degree of science is the minimum education required to become a radiation therapist. There are also alternate pathways to becoming a Radiation therapist in the form of secondary degrees that result in certification. These certifications are one year programs that result in a certificate, but you must first have a former degree in another field, such as radiology technologist. Radiation therapists typically receive training in gross anatomy, physiology, radiation protection, and medical physics.

Radiation therapist jobs are currently in great demand. Salary is not the same all over the world; however, the therapists to enjoy a substantial salary just about everywhere. In the United States, for example, a radiation therapist can make between $40,000 to 70,000 a year. But it is important to remember that a radiation therapist's salary depends on his or her educational levels.

For more information about the job of a radiation therapist please visit Radiation Therapist Salary and Radiation Therapist .