Principles of radiotherapy

Peter Hoskin and Wendy Makin

in Oncology for Palliative Medicine

Second edition

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780192628114
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730115 | DOI:
Principles of radiotherapy

Show Summary Details


This chapter provides an overview of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is the method of treatment using ionizing radiation. Normally, radiation is in the form of X-rays or gamma rays which, when directed through a cell, result in the ionization and destruction of DNA. Methods of delivering radiation include external X-ray beams and the use of radioisotopes. Radiation is potentially dangerous, hence administration of radiotherapy is usually done within a radiotherapy department. Radiotherapy plays a significant role in palliative care: it aids in the management of local symptoms such as pain, haemorrhage, and obstruction. Topics discussed in the chapter include the different kinds of radiation, radioisotope therapy, biological effects of radiation, and fractionation. The chapter also discusses the practicality of radiotherapy, and the practicality and efficiency of radiotherapy in palliative care.

Keywords: radiotherapy; ionizing radiation; X-rays; gamma rays; ionization; radiation; radioisotope therapy; fractionation

Chapter.  4635 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.