Radiation oncology is one of the three primary specialties, the other two being surgical and medical oncology, involved in the treatment of cancer. A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician who uses ionizing radiation (such as megavoltage X-rays or radionuclides) in the treatment of cancer. 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. A radiation oncologist may also use radiation to treat some benign diseases, including benign tumors. Radiation oncologists work closely with other physicians such as surgical oncologists, interventional radiologists, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical oncologists, as well as medical physicists and technicians as part of the multi-disciplinary cancer team.
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