Radiotherapy is a treatment of cancer that kills cancers cells using radiation beams. In Australia this treatment is available to all cancer patients including those suffering from breast cancer in both the public and private health sectors. Cancer oncologists and surgeons can be reached in public hospitals as well as private treatment facilities to address the treatment.
Radiotherapy Treatment For Breast Cancer In The Public Hospital
Medical practitioners who work in the public health sector will deliver their services without any out-of-pocket charges to the patients, but private patients have to pay hospital and other related fees during the course of their treatment. A general practitioner will make a referral to a specialist to get the treatment initiated.
Medical staff that specialises with a primary medical interest in cancer is called an oncologist. Of these, those who specialize in cancer surgery are known as cancer surgeons, specialists in radiation therapy work as radiation oncologists and specialists dealing with chemotherapy and hormone therapy work in the field of medical oncology.
Oncology specialists further sub specialise in different organs and those who deal with breast cancer will be known as breast cancer surgeons, therapists or radiation oncologists.
Although the actual radiation treatment is carried out by the radiation oncologist, there is a whole team of other professionals involved in the process before radiation therapy can be determined as the most suitable treatment available. After a referral has been submitted to a surgical oncologist, biopsies and other tests are conducted to determine the nature of the tumour.
If the tumour is confirmed as cancerous, then further discussions with other specialists will help decide the best course of preventive treatment and radiation therapy may be one of these options.
Radiotherapy Treatment For Breast Cancer In The Private Hospital
Whether breast cancer patients decide to have treatment done in the public health sector or through private practice, it is important to know that all medical practitioners in Australia need to go through the same process to be certified as specialists. Initially this means acquiring a general registration by getting a primary medical degree as well as completing a minimum of a one year internship at a medical facility.
Once practitioners have achieved this level they can then pursue further training in their field of specialty. To become a surgical oncologist, the medical practitioner needs to train in his specialised field for a further six years, those preparing to become radiation oncologists have to train for five years while medical practitioners looking to become medical oncologists will need to pursue another six years of specialist training before they can be certified.
Certified oncologists in all three disciplines are then awarded Fellowships by various colleges of surgeons, radiologists and physicians.
Breast cancer patients referred to an oncologist can choose to stay with the referred specialist or may choose one themselves based on the experience of friends or relatives. They also have the option to seek a second opinion from other medical personnel at any time during their diagnosis or treatment. If patients wish, or the general practitioner recommends, referrals can also be made to sub specialists who work in the field of breast cancer treatment.
1) Find a specialist: http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/find-a-specialist.html