RTS2101 - Fundamentals of cancer and its management - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

A. Prof Caroline Wright


A. Prof Caroline Wright

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Course code: M20024 or M2013


Units: RAD2004, RAD2002, RAD2005


This unit provides an introduction to cancer and its management. It allows students to explore the cellular and molecular basis of cancer and how it spreads.

It also covers familial cancers and the principles associated with palliative and radical treatment intent.

The principles of patient centred interdisciplinary oncology are also discussed in the context of the cancer patient experience from diagnosis to treatment and follow up. A range of different cancer management strategies are investigated with a focus on radiation therapy modalities and patient care.

Students will begin to develop an understating of radiation planning and dosimetry and actively participate in optimising dosimetry. This unit will also include an introduction to information management in the radiation oncology environment.

Students undertake a one-week (5 days) clinical orientation placement in a radiation therapy centre.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the principles related to cancer biology, the molecular basis of cancer, familial cancers, and the metastatic and systemic effects of cancer
  2. Differentiate between the radiation therapy modalities used to treat a range of malignant and non-malignant diagnoses.
  3. Discuss the processes of radiation therapy planning and dose optimisation for a range of diagnoses
  4. Explain cancer management strategies such a surgery, cytotoxic chemotherapy, hormone therapy in the context of specific diagnoses
  5. Discuss patient centred care and side effect management in radiation therapy patients
  6. Characterise the components of a radiation therapy information management system


1 week (5 days) clinical orientation in a radiation therapy centre


  • Clinical Workbook, Clinical Assessment portfolio and Eclipse planning activities (1,500 words) (20%)(hurdle)
  • 2 x online tests (30 minutes each) (10%)
  • Paired task: poster presentation and audio narration on cancer management (30%)
  • End of semester exam (2 hours) (40%) (hurdle)

Workload requirements

1 hour lecture, and a 2 hour tutorial per week, 9 hours of self-directed interaction with Moodle based tasks, readings and activities per week and online support sessions.

Students undertake a one-week (5 days) clinical orientation placement in a radiation therapy centre.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study