Fairfax, VA, March 9, 2010 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has published a list of radiation safety questions for cancer patients and their caregivers to ask their doctor about the quality assurance protocols of their radiation therapy treatments.
Radiation is a safe, highly effective cancer treatment. However, because radiation is invisible and works inside the body, it can be hard for patients to put their trust in a treatment they can’t see, touch or smell. ASTRO wants to encourage patients to be informed about their treatments and understand that it is always acceptable to ask questions about how radiation treatments work and the safety of these treatments.
“Cancer diagnoses are frightening and can be even more so if a patient doesn’t understand the treatments they are receiving or believes that their treatments may be causing them harm,” Phillip M. Devlin, M.D., chair of the ASTRO Communications Committee and a radiation oncologist at Dana Farber Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said. “By asking the right questions, patients can understand the technical nature of how these treatments are working to eliminate their cancer and save their life and learn about the safety checks and balances that go into setting up each individual treatment a patient receives.”
For a complete list of questions on radiation safety, visit www.rtanswers.org/treatmentinformation/questions/safetyquestions.aspx.