For Patients

Patients and Radiation Treatment

Radiation treatment plays an important role in the cancer journey

246x236_patientsRadiotherapy is effective and safe treatment for cancer.  In Canada approximately 50% of cancer patients will be benefit from this treatment at some point in their cancer journey.  The Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy (CPQR) was established in 2010 as a national partnership committed to supporting the delivery of safe and high quality radiation treatment for all Canadians.

Media attention on radiation treatment has meant that more patients are interested in learning more about the quality of their radiation treatment and want assurances that the treatment they receive is safe.  CPQR programs have been designed in consultation with doctors, cancer program leaders, provincial cancer agencies and international leaders.  Our priority is ensuring that the radiation treatment delivered in Canada remains safe and that cancer centres can learn from the experiences of others to continue to deliver quality care that is world-class.

Our programs focus on:

  • Making sure that radiation treatment programs and delivery processes work consistently across the country
  • Making sure that the technology and equipment used to deliver radiation to patients works safely and as intended by the manufacturer
  • Making it easier for cancer centres to learn from mistakes made by others
  • Making sure that patients are satisfied with the quality of care they are receiving

Engaging patients in our work

CPQR has a well-established group of patient representatives from across the Country.  These individuals sit on all our committees and help shape our work.  Arming patients with the tools needed to help their voice be heard at a table of medical professionals was (is) important.  CPQR provided(s) training to its volunteers, and continues to support their work by hosting regular “gab sessions.”

In 2016 and 2017 CPQR also launched a series of “more than just lip-service” initiatives that gave patient volunteers a chance to present CPQR work at professional conferences and symposia across North America.   If you are interested in learning more about the CPQR patient representative program please contact us.

Louise Bird presenting at the CPAC Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada conference April 2017.

Louise Bird presenting at the CPAC Innovative Approaches to Optimal Cancer Care in Canada conference April 2017.


What is radiation therapy?

Radiation can be used to treat cancer and improve the quality of life for patients.  Radiation treatment is given in one of two ways:

  • Externally through the use of either x-rays or electron beams that target specific areas of the body
  • Internally, where radioactive seeds are inserted into a specific area of the body.  This type of radiation therapy is traditionally used to treat prostate or gynecological cancers.

Unfortunately there are a number of myths about radiation therapy that can cause undue stress for cancer patients.  Together with our partner the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO), the Canadian Radiation Oncology Foundation (CROF) has prepared a Myth Buster that, together with information from your doctor, can help answer your questions about radiation treatment.

The Accelerated Education Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Ontario has prepared a video on radiation quality and safety measures in place at cancer centres across the country.  They welcome you to view this video, located in the sidebar, and learn more about how radiation treatment can become a safe part of your cancer treatment plan.