Radiotherapist--A physician with special training in the use of X-ray energy for the treatment of cancer.
Radiotherapy--Treatment of cancer with high-energy radiation. Radiation therapy may be used to reduce the size of a cancer before surgery, or to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery. Radiotherapy can be helpful in shrinking recurrent cancers to relieve symptoms.
Rectum--The last five to six inches of the colon leading to the anus.
Recurrence (Local)--Reappearance of cancer at its original site after a period of remission.
Regional Involvement--The spread of cancer from its original site to nearby surrounding areas. Regional cancers are confined to one location in the body.
Rehabilitation--Programs that help patients adjust and return to a full productive life. Rehabilitation may involve physical restoration, such as the use of prostheses, counseling and emotional support. (See Prosthesis)
Relapse--The reappearance of cancer after a disease-free period.
Remission--Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of disease in response to treatment. The period during which a disease is under control. A remission, however, is not necessarily a cure.
Risk Factor--Anything that increases an individual's chance of getting a disease, such as cancer. For example, the major risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking. The major risk factor for skin cancer is overexposure to the sun.
Risk Reduction--Those techniques used to reduce the chances of developing cancer. For example, low-fat diets may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.