Commonly Used Terms


Commonly Used Terms

Alopecia – hair loss

BID – twice daily radiation therapy

Chemotherapy – the treatment of cancer using specific chemical agents or drugs that destroy malignant cells and tissues

CT Scansometimes called “CAT” scan, stands for computerized tomography. It’s a valuable, painless diagnostic test that allows radiologists, doctors who specialize in the use of imaging for diagnosing diseases, to see inside some areas of the body that cannot be seen using conventional x-rays. This imaging method produces a series of pictures that are then reconstructed by a computer into cross­ sectional views

Dosimetrist – a member of the radiation therapy team who assists the radiation oncologist and radiation physicist in calculating the proper radiation dose for treatment

External Radiation Therapy – radiation treatment delivered from outside the body. You are not radioactive when you receive this type of therapy

Fractionated – means divided into parts. Because the effect of radiation is cumulative, radiation therapy is divided into small doses to protect healthy cells and allow normal tissues or cells affected by the

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) – a course of radiation where the dosage of each beam can be regulated, thereby delivering high doses of radiation where it is needed most and minimizing the amount to healthy nearby tissue

Linear Accelerator – a machine that creates high-energy radiation to treat cancer

Oncology – the branch of medicine that deals with cancerous tumors

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – diagnostic test that looks at your body’s metabolic activity and provides important information about your body’s tissues

Radiation Oncologist – a doctor who specializes in radiation therapy

Radiation Oncology Nurse – a Nurse who specializes in caring for patients undergoing radiation therapy

Radiation Physicist – a doctoral-level scientist who helps in the technical planning of radiation treatment

Radiation Therapist – the certified licensed health care professional who administers the radiation treatment prescribed by the radiation oncologist

Radiation Therapy – a medical specialty that uses high energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRSI) – a single, high dose radiation therapy treatment used for some intracranial tumors. Multiple narrow beams are used to focus on the target tissue. The patient is immobilized for this procedure with a special halo-type frame, a CT scan is then performed, a treatment plan is created, and treatment is delivered all on the same day

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy (SRTI) – utilizes the same approach as SRS, except that the immobilization device is somewhat different and the radiation dosage is delivered over many treatment days