Analyze computer images to plan radiation treatments for cancer patients.
What does a Medical Dosimetrist do?
Who’s afraid of the big C? We all are! But in truth, we’re better off now in terms of treatment options. While before, a cancer diagnosis was tantamount to a death sentence, today’s advances in technology and medicine have made it possible for Doctors to develop effective treatment plans.
Computers can now build complex 3D models of the human body, showing the diseased area that needs treatment. And Medical Dosimetrists are the professionals who know the ins and outs of these 3D images. A Medical Dosimetrist recommends specific amounts and coverage areas for radiation treatments.
Your expertise as a Medical Dosimetrist is a big help to patients because you ensure that the radiation is strong enough to kill the tumor without harming the healthy organs nearby. You focus solely on the radiation part of the treatment plan, while the Doctors monitor the patient’s health and test results.
To create the 3D images, computer programs put together data from x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Most of your day is spent examining these images and performing calculations to see how much radiation is needed and how far it should spread through the body. Treating the lungs, for example, would involve a small coverage area to ensure the radiation hits only the cancer and not the heart.
After determining the best course of action, you talk with other specialists to explain your conclusions and set up a treatment plan. When everything is in place, radiation is administered to the patient over the course of several weeks.
Now you’ve done your part. With a bit of luck, the patient will become the normal, healthy person that they used to be. And if they do, it’ll be another feather in your cap, and a triumph in the area of cancer treatment.