Radiation oncology is a method of treating cancer using radiation. Radiation therapy uses carefully targeted and regulated doses of high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells, some of which die immediately after treatment, while others are rendered inactive when the radiation makes them unable to divide, grow or spread. UW Medicine Radiation Oncology patients have access to the widest range of radiation treatments available in the world today, including state-of-the-art proton beam therapy and the only medical center based clinical cyclotron for fast neutron therapy.
A team of highly-trained healthcare professionals will work together to care for you during your radiation therapy. The team is led by a radiation oncologist, a doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer, who will work with you to determine your best course of treatment. These physicians work with the other healthcare professionals of the radiation therapy team to develop and prescribe your treatment plan and make sure that each treatment is administered properly. Your radiation oncologist will oversee your radiation therapy treatments, track your progress, and adjust the treatment as needed to make sure you receive the best care. Radiation oncologists also help identify and treat any side effects that may occur due to radiation therapy.
Radiation oncologists work closely with other cancer providers, including medical oncologists and surgeons, and all members of the radiation oncology team. Radiation therapists partner with your radiation oncologist to administer your radiation treatment, along with radiation oncology nurses who care for you during and after treatment, medical physicists who ensure that complex treatments are individually tailored for each patient, and dosimetrists who carefully calculate the dose of radiation for each treatment.
Cancers Treated and Specialty Care
Our world-class team of physicians has extensive expertise in treating a wide range of cancers — from common diagnoses to extremely rare conditions — using the most comprehensive range of radiation technologies available in the world. These include: