Glossary: R

radiation (RAY-dee-AY-shun)

Energy released in the form of particle or electromagnetic waves. Common sources of radiation include radon gas, cosmic rays from outer space, medical x-rays, and energy given off by a radioisotope (unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable).

radiation physicist (RAY-dee-AY-shun FIH-zih-sist)

A person who makes sure that the radiation machine delivers the right amount of radiation to the correct site in the body. The physicist works with the radiation oncologist to choose the treatment schedule and dose that has the best chance of killing the most cancer cells.

radiation poisoning (RAY-dee-AY-shun POY-zuh-ning)

Serious illness caused by being exposed to high doses of certain types of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms of radiation poisoning usually occur right after exposure but they may happen over time, and they may come and go. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, hair loss,… Read more »

radiation sickness (RAY-dee-AY-shun SIK-nes)

Serious illness caused by being exposed to high doses of certain types of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms of radiation sickness usually occur right after exposure but they may happen over time, and they may come and go. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, hair loss,… Read more »

radiation sickness syndrome (RAY-dee-AY-shun SIK-nes SIN-drome)

Serious illness caused by being exposed to high doses of certain types of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms of radiation sickness syndrome usually occur right after exposure but they may happen over time, and they may come and go. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, hair… Read more »