HomeCancer TreatmentRadiation Oncology

Radiation oncology is the clinical and scientific discipline utilizing ionizing radiation to treat persons with cancer.  Radiation therapy is utilized as neoadjuvant, adjuvant, primary, and palliative cancer treatment, depending on the tumor type, stage of the disease, and therapeutic objective.  Radiation is delivered via a variety of modalities including external beam, brachytherapy, and systemic therapy, often with concurrent chemotherapy administered as a radiosensitizer.  The goal of radiation therapy is to maximize the radiation dose to the desired field while sparing normal tissue to the extent possible.  The radiation oncology team consists of radiation oncologists, advanced practice nurses (APN) and physician assistants, nurses, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, physicists, nutritionists, social workers, wound and skin care specialists, and complementary therapy practitioners. 

ONS Radiation SIG
Manual for Radiation Oncology Nursing Practice and Education (4th Edition) offers you a complete review of radiation treatment for the care of patients with cancer.
  Principles of Skin Care and the Oncology Patient addresses skin care issues, and is a helpful resource to guide the healthcare professionals who care for patients with cancer that develop skin problems.The book is extensive in its scope and intensive in its level of detail. Chapters begin with an overview of skin issues related to the oncology patient, including details on anatomy and physiology of the skin and accessory organs. A review of common drug reactions with cutaneous manifestations is included, as well as benign skin disorders and their impact on cancer therapy and malignant cutaneous diseases.
  Radiation Therapy Patient Care Record: A Tool for Documenting Nursing Care provides a model documentation instrument for nurses to monitor radiation-induced side effects, management of these side effects, and patient education. It includes master forms that can be duplicated for institutional use and also provides the forms in electronic format for easy printing from your computer.

Radiation Oncology Certificate Program is intended to provide intermediate level information about radiation oncology therapies, symptom management and the professional role of the radiation oncology nurse. At the completion of the course, the student will take an examination based on the course content, pass the end-of-course examination (80% score), and complete the course evaluation to earn a CNE certificate from ONS and the certificate of added qualification from Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation.


ONS Radiation eConference lets you attend a national learning event from home. Whether you're an experienced radiation oncology nurse or are caring for patients receiving radiation in another setting, you won't want to miss this chance to learn more about the latest advances in radiation therapy, talk about symptom management and survivorship issues, and network with other nurses from across the United States. Plus, you'll earn CNE while doing it.

Radiation Therapy for Cancer Fact Sheet 

The role of the radiation oncology nurse: Being the best that you can be