Public lectures and public benefit

Public lectures

The RCR is committed to benefitting the public and holds free lectures about clinical oncology and clinical radiology. Delivered by leading clinicians these will fascinate and inform all who attend.

Most recent lecture: 23 June 2016 - The changing cancer story – living with and beyond cancer
Professor Jane Maher, Joint Chief Medical Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support 

View the lecture

The cancer story is changing. The number of people living with cancer in the UK has risen by 400,000 in the last five years. Today there are 2.5 million people in the UK with a cancer diagnosis. One of the reasons for the increase is a positive one; more people are surviving cancer and living longer after diagnosis. Survival rates for many cancers have improved radically over the last 20 years; effective screening, earlier diagnosis of symptomatic disease and better treatments have all played their part and diagnostic and therapeutic radiation remain key elements of this. However, while the role of chemotherapy and surgery are relatively well understood by the public, the role of radiotherapy is less understood and valued. Surviving cancer does not necessarily mean living well though - rising numbers of people living with and beyond cancer also present new problems, requiring more focus on recovery, and recognising and reducing the impact of consequences of related treatment including malignancy, bone health and cardiovascular morbidities. The growing number of older patients with more co-morbidities presents complex decisions regarding the balance between the benefits and harms of different treatments, and in maintaining independence and quality of life. Tomorrow's clinical oncologists and diagnostic radiologists face the challenge of new and exciting technologies but will also need to understand the changing cancer. story.


Past lectures include:  

  • Shades of grey: image perception & performance in radiology, Professor Andoni Toms - November 2015
  • From Radium to radium, Professor Nick Reed - June 2015. View the lecture  
  • From Circus Trick to Space Flight - how a British boy band changed neuro-imaging forever, Dr Stavros Stivaros - November 2014
  • Cancer Research: improving radiotherapy outcomes for patients, Professor David Sebag-Montefiore - June 2014.  View the lecture
  • Radiology 20/20 vision: will science fiction become reality?,  Dr Richard Fowler - November 2013. View the lecture.
  • Being Positive: Protons in modern radiotherapy, Dr Adrian Crellin - June 2013. View the lecture
  • Medical sports imaging and the 2012 Olympics, Dr Phil O'Connor - November 2012
  • Radiation & smart drugs: Homing in on cancer’s Achilles' heel - June 2012 Dr Kevin Harrington from the Institute of Cancer Research . View the lecture  
  • Curing cancer with radiotherapy: past, present and future, Professor Jeffrey Tobias - June 2011
  • Stop worrying - radiation is good for you, Dr Bob Bury - November 2010; View the lecture

Public benefit

The College works for the benefit of the public it serves – patients who use the services delivered by clinical oncologists and clinical radiologists and their carers, families and friends. The main areas of public benefit are:

  • Setting and developing the standards for entry to, and practise in, the specialties of clinical radiology and clinical oncology
  • Arrangements for continuing professional development (CPD) in both specialties
  • Setting the specialty-specific standards for revalidation of doctors in the College’s two specialties along with associated guidance, advice and tools
  • The Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme ( – a patient-focused quality accreditation scheme for imaging services throughout the UK (a joint initiative with the Society and College of Radiographers)
  • Extensive and growing involvement of patients in the work of the College – at all levels from the development of policy to detailed standards and assessment work
  • Publishing a range of patient guidance leaflets free of charge and copyright-free, enabling local health services to adapt them to their own needs
  • Publishing professional guidance, standards and similar documents which, with a few exceptions, are available free of charge on the College’s website
  • Active involvement in healthcare policy development such as cancer services and promoting the use of new diagnostic and treatment techniques where quality and consistency of care are the core objectives
  • Significant work in the area of patient safety, notably in cancer services and interventional radiology.