Risks and accidents in Radiotherapy
Without a doubt radiation therapy, either palliative or curative, plays a major role in cancer patients’ management. Radiotherapy is a complicated modality that involves the implementation of modern technologies and sophisticated software programs, while it requires the cooperation of different professionals. The goal of achieving enhanced tumor control in conjunction with limited risk for late effects to normal tissues demands a high level of accuracy, consistency and minimized uncertainties as well.
Quality assurance and quality control along with equipment commissioning and maintenance are performed periodically in a radiotherapy department in terms of radiation protection and patients’ safety. However, the increased complexity in treatment planning and delivery methods is accompanied with significant possibility for treatment related errors and incidents. Our purpose is to report some of the accidents in radiotherapy that have been described in literature, highlight the lessons we have been taught from these cases and point out the potential radiotherapy associated risks.