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Winning the War on Cancer: The Critical Role of Radiation Oncology
Date:1/28/2009

open a person's skull.

"I've witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of cancer on individuals and families. But I've also seen remarkable advances in science and technology, particularly in the cutting-edge field of radiation oncology, that are helping people with cancer live longer and even be cured of their disease," said radiation oncologist and U.S. Representative Griffith. "I hope patients, physicians, and my colleagues in Congress recognize the invaluable role that targeted radiation therapy is playing in the life and death struggle against cancer."

Reps. Myrick and Griffith were joined by Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society (ACS), who spoke of the many benefits radiation treatment provides to cancer patients. In addition, Dr. C. Norman Coleman, Associate Director of the Radiation Research Program of the National Cancer Institute, demonstrated how investments in cancer research and cutting edge technology are increasing the efficacy of radiation treatment, while minimizing side effects.

Recently, cancer researchers have documented, for the first time ever, that modern therapeutic advances are contributing to make patients less likely to die from cancer. Investments in cancer research and breakthroughs in radiation oncology are a very important part of this equation. With new technologies, radiation oncologists can deliver less radiation to the body and reduce side effects, at the same time delivering more radiation to the cancer itself to better ensure a cure.

Despite being a highly effective treatment, radiation oncology is one of the least understood cancer therapies by the public, physicians, and policymakers. For instance, radiation oncology often is confused with diagnostic radiology. That's because radiation treatment beams are invisible and painless, much like what a patient would experience with a diagnostic X-ray. How
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SOURCE US Oncology
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