Even in developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, palliative care professionals believe that radiation therapy is important for their common cancer patients. Yet while they do have ready access to radiation oncology specialists and facilities, only about half of them feel sufficiently trained to identify situations where palliative radiotherapy might be most useful. The initial five chapters of the book provide readers unfamiliar with the specifics of Radiation Oncology a framework from which they can gain the most clinical knowledge out of the ensuing treatment-oriented chapters. Meanwhile, most radiation oncologists engaged in the palliative use of radiotherapy are not fully trained and up to date in overall principles and techniques of palliation and symptom control. Five chapters in this book deal with these issues and serve to augment the radiation oncologist’s education in a way that helps to make up for any absence of the provision of this knowledge in their training programs.
The book also addresses the challenges of providing proper palliative radiotherapy care in developing countries, where the problems are different and can be even more difficult to surmount. Economically disadvantaged countries lack the resources to provide a sufficient number radiotherapy centers to serve their populations, with technological advances placing the newest generations of treatment machines further from the reach of disadvantaged locales. Even in countries with a reasonable number of facilities, the travel burdens placed upon patients who need to be evaluated and treated by doctors in these centers may be prohibitive.
Keywords: Oncology & Radiotherapy