Radiotherapeutic Physics

This section deals with a lot of information about radiotherapeutics physics.

But why not use the term radiation physics? Well, it might seem like a minor point but as radiation oncologists you are not expected to be an expert in radiation physics any more than a doctor is asked to be an expert in anatomy, or an expert in pharmacology, or an expert in biochemistry. It would be true to say that all of these areas of study have a lot more depth than is required for a doctor, AND that some doctors will have a greater depth than the majority, but even then their knowledge of the area is not a complete overlap with the experts in the field who are not doctors.

Our strength is not in the depth of knowledge but its application in the clinical environment. And so it is with this physics. You are to be an expert in radiotherapeutic physics, which is the application of relevant radiation physics to the clinical scenario. So if you come from a PBL or self-directed educational background (and if you didn't, that's where you are now!), you will realize that all you need to know is in the clinic. The reasons and the learning behind each clinical step is what you need to establish.

After the radiation therapists (RTs) place a 'wedge' in the machine head, you should say to yourself: "what is a wedge? why is it called a wedge? how does this affect the radiation beam strength and distribution? does it have any effect on changing dose inside the patient? what is it about the patient that means some one thought this would be a good idea? why is the thing so heavy? are there any lighter and faster alternatives to use? what are the size restrictions when using a wedge? et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!!

High School!

If you need to return to high school to revise some of the concepts which will come across in the remaining work, here are some resources which you can peruse. Note that updated versions will be available here because this work is an ongoing effort.

Math10_crop_small.png PDF / web Math11_crop_small.png PDF / web Math12_crop_small.png PDF / web
PS10_crop_small.png PDF / web PS11_crop_small.png PDF / web PS12_crop_small.png PDF / web

Phase 1 Assignment material

I'll do my best to help, you must tell me which assignment, and which question you wish to get help with. Please SEND ME THE TEXT of the question, even if it is a repeat so that there is no confusion (it is after all just a copy & paste!).

I shall attempt to help you get answers rather than providing answers for you, and I will explain things in those resources if needed.

Phase 1 Assignments
Podgorsak's Radiation Oncology Physics textbook
Slides that accompany Podgorsak's textbook - these are very good & COMPREHENSIVE!


If you find a good resource, let me know. I do have a life outside of this blog!

Zdenka Kuncic's website with Radiation Physics lectures, go to here for a copy of the PDFs and PPTs

Online Radiology Physics Courses
RADT11 course (**//very good for introductory concepts//)
Animated Photon Interactions
A Radiology course but with a lot to offer us

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