Radiation oncologist
A radiation oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 patients, using radiation therapy
Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy , radiation oncology, or radiotherapy , sometimes abbreviated to XRT or DXT, is the medical use of ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells.Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control...

 as the main modality of treatment. Radiation can be given as a curative modality, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. It may also be used palliatively, to relieve symptoms in patients with incurable cancers. In some countries (not the United States), radiotherapy and chemotherapy are controlled by a single oncologist who is a "clinical oncologist". Radiation oncologists work closely with other physicians such as surgical oncologists
Surgical oncology
Surgical oncology is the branch of surgery which focuses on the surgical management of cancer.The specialty of surgical oncology has evolved in steps similar to medical oncology, which grew out of hematology, and radiation oncology, which grew out of radiology...

, other surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

s, internal medicine
Internal medicine
Internal medicine is the medical specialty dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases. Physicians specializing in internal medicine are called internists. They are especially skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or multi-system disease processes...

 subspecialists and medical oncologists, as part of the multi-disciplinary cancer team.

Training (by country)

In the United States, radiation oncologists undergo four years of residency (in addition to an internship), which is more oncology training than any other specialty and is currently one of the most competitive residencies to enter. During this time they learn about oncology, the physics and biology of ionizing radiation, and the treatment of cancer patients with radiation. After completion of this training, a radiation oncologist may undergo certification by either the American Board of Radiology (ABR) or the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) for M.D. degree holders or the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (AOBR) for D.O. degree holders. Board certification includes a written test and a practical oral exam. Successfully passing these tests leads to the granting of a 10 year, time limited, board certification for ABR diplomates or an 8 year, time limited, board certification for ABPS diplomates. Recertification is obtained via a series of continuing medical education and practice qualifications including a written exam, clinical practice parameter evaluation, continuing medical education credits, and meeting community practice standards. More information can be obtained at www.theabr.org or http://abpsus.org regarding qualifications.

In Canada, radiation oncologists directly enter radiation oncology residencies of a 5 year duration. Most radiation oncologists also pursue a fellowship after their residency, examples of which include brachytherapy
Brachytherapy , also known as internal radiotherapy, sealed source radiotherapy, curietherapy or endocurietherapy, is a form of radiotherapy where a radiation source is placed inside or next to the area requiring treatment...

, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), gynecologic radiation oncology, and many others. Radiation oncologists in Canada commonly treat two or three different anatomic sites, such as head and neck, breast, genitourinary, hematologic, gynecologic, central nervous system, or lung cancer.

In the United Kingdom, clinical oncologists, who practise radiotherapy are also fully qualified to administer chemotherapy. After completion of their basic medical degree, all oncologists must train fully in general internal medicine and pass the MRCP
MRCP may be:* Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, in medical imaging, a technique to visualise the biliary tract and pancreatic ducts....

 exam, normally 3–4 years after qualification. Following this, 5 years of Specialist Registrar (SpR) training is required in all non-surgical aspects of oncology in a recognised training program. During this time, the trainee must pass the FRCR examination in order to qualify for specialist registration as a clinical oncologist. A significant proportion of trainees will extend their time to undertake an academic fellowship, MD, or PhD. Almost all consultant clinical oncologists in the UK are Fellows of the Royal College of Radiologists
Royal College of Radiologists
The Royal College of Radiologists is the professional body responsible for the specialty of clinical oncology and clinical radiology throughout the United Kingdom. Its role is to advance the science and practice of radiology and oncology, further public education and set appropriate professional...

, the governing body of the specialty. Whilst most oncologists will treat a selection of common general oncology cases, there is increasing specialisation, with the expectation that consultants will specialise in one or two subsites.

In Australia and New Zealand, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR http://www.RANZCR.edu.au) awards a Fellowship (FRANZCR) to trainees after a 5 year program and several sets of exams and modules. As in other countries, radiation oncologists tend to subspecialize although generalists will always exist in smaller centres. Although trained in the delivery of chemotherapy, radiation oncologists in Australia and New Zealand rarely prescribe it.

In Iran, radiation oncologists, who are fully trained in all non-surgical aspects of oncology (including radiation therapy & chemotherapy), directly enter a 4 year residency after completion of 7 years of training in general medicine & acceptance in national comprehensive residency exam.

In Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, only Bir Hospital
Bir Hospital
Bir Hospital is the oldest and one of the busiest hospitals in Nepal. It was established in July 1889 by Bir Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana. It is located at the center of Kathmandu city. The hospital is run by the National Academy of Medical Sciences, a government agency since 2003.The hospital...

 runs residency program on Radiation Oncology, under NAMS. It's a 3 years residency program, and the main domains are Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Palliative Care.

See also: radiation therapy
Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy , radiation oncology, or radiotherapy , sometimes abbreviated to XRT or DXT, is the medical use of ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells.Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control...

 (radiotherapy), oncology
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with cancer...


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