It is a reflection of current thinking that a chapter on radiotherapy should be included in a text book on surgical oncology; further that it should be written by a radiotherapist. When I trained this would have been almost inconceivable, the surgeon jealous of his technical skill often referred the patient to the radiotherapist only as a last resort for palliation when all else had failed; the radiotherapist, anxious to display knowledge and prowess of a complicated technique, somewhat forlornly tried to reproduce results equal to those of the surgeons even on patients more suitable for operation. Fortunately we have progressed considerably in recent years; the surgeon or radiotherapist no longer attempts to monopolize the treatment of the patient. Interdisciplinary cooperation has brought about a greater understanding of the part that each specialty plays in the treatment of the patient with malignant disease and patients now are referred for the method of treatment which produces the best chance of survival and the minimal incidence of complications and morbidity. There is still some confusion in many medical practitioners’ minds about the role of radiotherapy in the management of the cancer patient. It is regretable that such a state should exist; in this country we are an aging population and malignant diseases are associated with the older age group, no wonder then that the incidence is on the increase and that cancer, at present the second most common cause of death, is already assuming the prime position in some parts of the country.
KeywordsMalignant Disease Distressing Symptom Radiation Technique Cervix Uterus Interdisciplinary Cooperation
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