Dosimetry

Dosimetry

Dosimetry refers to the measurement of different types of radiation, such as x-rays or gamma rays, used during the detection, diagnostics and treatment of different illnesses, such as cancer or other diseases. This area of radiology is especially important because excessive exposure to radiation for patients can lead to the induction of cancer itself in healthy individuals and even damage to body organs like the skin of the eyes. Today dosimetry methodologies are standardised by an international code of practice that set out the approved methodologies in which radiation can be used as well as to conduct quality assurance and control of equipment and procedures.

In cancer patients, radiation therapy can be used as a form of treatment. This is done in two different ways. By utilising external beam radioactive therapy or brachytherapy where a radioactive source is placed inside or surrounding the cancerous tumour. This treatment is used to kill abnormal cells but it might also partly damage healthy tissue and organs throughout the process.

Radiation therapy is administered by a dosimetrist, an analytical professional working along with radiation therapists and radiation oncologists within this department. The medical dosimetrist creates a tailored plan for the patient using medical imaging to determine the location and characteristics of the tumour and determines the dose distributions and calculations of the needed radiation levels accordingly. This type of treatment varies from patient to patient and can require one or several doses scheduled over a period of days or weeks.

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