Explaining Radiation Therapy Cancer Treatments

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has published a new patient brochure, Radiation Therapy for Cancers of the Colon, Rectum and Anus.

This year, 108,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Another 41,000 men and women will be diagnosed with rectal cancer. About 5,000 people will learn they have anal cancer.


Radiation therapy is often used in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy to treat these cancers. The radiation oncologists at ASTRO have written a two-page color brochure to help patients and their families understand how radiation therapy works to cure colon, rectal and anal cancers, often while preserving patients’ abilities to retain normal bowel and urinary functions. “Coping with a diagnosis of colon, rectal or anal cancer can be very scary, especially at first.

Recognizing this, ASTRO created its brochures to help educate patients on the lifesaving benefits of radiation therapy and what they can expect during treatments,” said Gregory Patton, M.D., chair of ASTRO’s Communications Committee and a radiation oncologist at Northwest Cancer Specialists, P.C., in Portland, Ore.

Radiation Therapy for Cancers of the Colon, Rectum and Anus is one of 16 brochures in English, Spanish, Japanese and Arabic that ASTRO offers. As part of its public awareness campaign, ASTRO has distributed more than 650,000 printed copies of its brochures.