Radiotherapy: A Patient’s Perspective

by | May 19, 2020 | Public Involvement | 0 comments

Public Involvement describes the ways in which higher education and research is carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. In this blog category, you will find out about the different ways in which the Faculty involves the public in our events, projects and training opportunities.

Learning about medical treatments can become dehumanised; often the thoughts and feelings of the patients come secondary to the scientific research. However, to fully understand radiotherapy, it is important to know about treatment from both sides of the spectrum, as a medical professional and also as a patient.

Last year, the Faculty’s new masters programme, Cancer Biology and Radiotherapy Physics, was launched which aims to cover the fundamental science underpinning radiotherapy and its clinical delivery. As Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) is a core value of the Faculty’s research and teaching, it was important for the masters students to incorporate PPIE into their studies.

To gain a broad perspective on the applications of their degree, current and past radiotherapy patients were invited into lectures and seminars to meet the students. In these sessions, patients spoke about their personal experiences of being a patient. The project was a huge success with very positive feedback received from both patients and students.

One student commented: “It was brilliant to be able to hear the patients’ experiences and how what we are learning about is applied clinically – it really re-iterates the importance of research and PPI.”

This opportunity is unique and provides the chance for students to begin to understand why relationships between researchers and patients are so valuable; it is hoped that patient involvement will become an integral part of the Masters curriculum.

Our Division takes pride in actively supporting the University’s key Social Responsibility (SR) goals and we are working towards developing an SR strategy which will touch all our research and teaching programmes.” – Prof Stephen Taylor, Head of the Division of Cancer Sciences.

The opportunity to bring students and patients together in this way is unique and provides the chance for students to begin to understand why relationships between researchers and patients are so valuable.” – Dr Suzanne Johnson, Division of Cancer Sciences, Social Responsibility Lead.

The project was funded by the Faculty’s Social Responsibility in the Curriculum funding and coordinated by Dr Mike Taylor.

For more information about other PPIE events, training and funding opportunities, you can sign up to our monthly digest, visit our website, follow us on twitter or email For further PPIE resources, visit the Faculty’s PPIE Toolkit.


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