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The Role of a Radiation Therapist

November 06, 2023

It’s Radiation Therapy Week! Facing radiation therapy as part of your cancer treatment can be overwhelming, but it's important to remember that you're not alone on this journey. A radiation therapist is a crucial member of your radiation team who helps ensure that your treatment is safe, accurate, and as comfortable as possible. 

Who is a Radiation Therapist?

A radiation therapist is a highly trained medical professional who specializes in administering radiation treatments to patients. Therapists work closely with radiation oncologists and other members of the healthcare team to plan, deliver, and monitor your radiation treatment.




Key Responsibilities of a Radiation Therapist

  • Treatment Planning: Radiation therapists collaborate with radiation oncologists and medical physicists to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Their involvement is often during the time of “simulation” when you are positioned for treatment. This process helps to deliver radiation needed to target the tumor while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue.

  • Treatment Delivery: During each radiation session, the radiation therapist is responsible for positioning you accurately on the treatment table and ensuring that you're in the right position for the radiation beams to be administered.

  • Equipment Operation: Radiation therapists are skilled in operating complex radiation equipment, called linear accelerators, which deliver the radiation doses according to the treatment plan your doctor designed.

  • Patient Care: They monitor your well-being throughout the treatment, addressing any concerns you might have and ensuring your comfort and safety during the sessions.

  • Communication: Radiation therapists maintain clear communication with you and the rest of your healthcare team. They ensure that you understand the treatment process, schedule, and any potential side effects.

Your Partner in Care

Radiation therapists understand many of the emotional and physical challenges that come with cancer treatment. They are not just skilled professionals; they are compassionate individuals dedicated to supporting you every step of the way. Developing a strong rapport with your radiation therapist is essential. They are there to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide reassurance. As you spend time together during your treatment sessions, you'll likely find that their presence becomes a source of comfort and stability in an otherwise unfamiliar environment.


Radiation therapists are an integral part of your cancer treatment team, offering expertise, compassion, and unwavering support. Their role in delivering accurate and effective radiation therapy is pivotal in your journey toward recovery. Remember that your radiation therapist is dedicated to ensuring your well-being and comfort throughout your treatment. Embrace their guidance and expertise as you navigate this phase of your cancer journey, knowing that you're in capable hands.

Please thank your radiation therapist this week for what they do!