A guide for staff working in other disciplines

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) is a modern, safe and effective cancer treatment.

Some Australians with cancer miss out on the palliative and curative benefits of radiation therapy due to underutilisation. Approximately 50% of people with cancer can benefit from radiation therapy.1 However, only around 1 in 3 cancer patients in Australia will actually have radiation therapy as a part of their treatment.6

It is important that all health professionals involved in the care of people with cancer have an understanding of radiation therapy and how it can benefit patients.

In this rapid learning you will learn about the role, indications and side effects of radiation therapy as a cancer treatment modality.

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Additional resources

You can use the following resources in the workplace to assist you in caring for patients and to start a conversation about radiation therapy with your colleagues. 

Share the message. Become a radiation therapy champion.

Targeting Cancer


The Radiation Oncology Targeting Cancer Campaign is an initiative of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR).

The campaign aims to increase the awareness of radiation therapy as an effective and sophisticated treatment for cancer and strives to educate patients and health professionals about radiation therapy.

Reflect on what you’ve learnt and explore the links below to find out more.

  • You know all about external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), now learn more about the different types of EBRT that patients may receive.
  • Build on your knowledge of brachytherapy and learn how it can be used to treat prostate, cervix and uterine cancer.
  • You know now that radiation therapy is a process involving more than one step. Watch the patient pathway video and the treatment process video to learn more about what patients may experience when being treated with radiation therapy. 
  • You learnt that radiation therapy can be used in the treatment of almost all cancers. Now explore the different cancer types to learn more about how radiation therapy can be used in the treatment of each.
  • Want to know more but not sure where to start? Review the information for GPs and other health professionals.

Want to learn more?

eviQ Education provides two additional radiation oncology courses.

  • Introduction to radiation oncology includes modules and case studies to help health professionals understand and  apply the principles of radiation therapy to patient care.
  • Advanced radiation oncology provides more in depth  information about the side effects of radiation therapy, and describes patient assessment and supportive care management of patients receiving radiation oncology treatment.

Downloadable and printable resources

Save a copy of these resources so you can refer back to them in the workplace.

Presentation slide deck

This presentation can be used the share what you’ve learnt about radiation therapy with your colleagues as an in service or face to face training session.

Facilities are able to adapt the contents of the presentation to reflect their local policies, procedures, management guidelines and models of care.

Facilities are responsible for reviewing the contents of the slides and speakers notes before determining whether the contents are appropriate for delivery in their local facility. Please refer to slide 1 of the presentation for more information and instructions for use.


  1. Barton M., Jacob S., Shafig J., Wong K., Thompson S., Hanna T., Delaney G. Rates’. Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CCORE), Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia, 2013: p6.
  2. Batumalai, V., Shafiq, J., Gabriel, G., Hanna, T.P., Delaney, G.P. and Barton, M., 2018. Impact of radiotherapy underutilisation measured by survival shortfall, years of potential life lost and disability-adjusted life years lost in New South Wales, Australia. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 129(2), pp.191-195.
  3. Cancer Institute NSW. eviQ: cancer treatments online [online]. Available from URL: https://www.eviq.org.au/
  4. Cancer Institute NSW. eviQ Education, Introduction to radiation oncology course [online]. Available from: https://education.eviq.org.au/courses/radiation-oncology
  5. Delaney, G., Jacob, S., Featherstone, C. and Barton, M., 2005. The role of radiotherapy in cancer treatment: estimating optimal utilization from a review of evidenceā€based clinical guidelines. Cancer: Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society, 104(6), pp.1129-1137.
  6. Gabriel G, Barton M, Delaney G. Does travel distance affect radiotherapy utilisation in NSW and the ACT? Presentation at 2014 Innovations in Cancer Treatment and Care Conference.
  7. RANZCR. Radiation oncology: targeting cancer [online]. Available from URL: https://www.targetingcancer.com.au/


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