Australia ‘lagging behind’ in radiation standard care

AUSTRALIA has lagged behind in the introduction of radiation therapy technology that is standard care in the US and UK, according to experts who said half of Australians diagnosed with cancer would benefit from some form of radiotherapy.

Availability of technology to deliver that therapy was one of the topics discussed by more than 1000 experts from around the world who met in Melbourne last week for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting.

College Faculty of Radiation Oncology dean Professor Christopher Milross said radiotherapy was estimated to contribute to 40% of cases where cancer is cured but many Australians were not aware of the significant developments that were being made in the field.

He said technological advances allowed oncologists to view tumours with 3D imaging so they could target radiation beams very precisely, improving survival and reducing the impact on healthy tissue.