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A-Z Services - Medical Physics - Radiotherapy Physics

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The Radiotherapy Physics team is responsible for the precise delivery of prescribed radiation doses to tumours and the associated personalised treatment planning which also protects adjacent healthy tissues of patients being treated.  This work involves meticulous attention to detail, comprehensive quality assurance and reliable maintenance of a range of highly complex equipment.


The Radiotherapy Physics team is responsible for ensuring patients receive the precise radiation dose intended for them.  This is achieved by the personalised planning of treatments, so that the dose to healthy tissue is kept to a minimum.  Together with this the team also maintain the treatment machines that deliver the radiotherapy, checking that the energy and amount of radiation given is correct. 


As well as treatments using radiation directed into the body from the outside, Radiotherapy Physics also plan treatments using a source that can be placed inside the body.  This is used for a new treatment for prostate cancer recently pioneered in Exeter.


Finally, some conditions are treated by administering a substance, such as radioactive iodine to the patient for the treatment of over active thyroid glands.


Information for patients receiving Radio Iodine

Radio Iodine is a radioactive form of natural iodine and is used primarily for the treatment or investigation of thyroid problems. The treatment is administered by a Medical Physicist who has been trained in the handling, administration and radiation aspects of Radio Iodine Therapy.  As with all radioactive treatment specific precautions have to be taken to minimise the risk to others. As well as administering the treatment, the Physicist will explain the procedure and the simple precautions necessary after undergoing Radio Iodine Therapy.


Radio Iodine is a simple and effective treatment.  It is a common and well accepted form of treatment that the medical profession has used all over the world for more than forty years.  The small amount of radiation involved has not been known to produce any advserse effects