About CARO

About Us

The voice of a vital force in cancer treatment

We are the voice of Radiation Oncology in Canada. Radiation Oncologists are medical doctors with specialized expertise in using radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer, working together alongside medical physicists and radiation therapists to deliver quality care. As the national association for this vital profession, the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO) promotes and supports professional and development training for our practitioners, public education and awareness, and collaboration with other healthcare disciplines.

CARO advocates and works closely with other organizations on the provincial and national level, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists, and the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology, to promote timely access to high quality radiation therapy. Through our collective efforts, we help to continually improve the quality of Radiation Oncology services in Canada and, ultimately, ensure the best care for patients.

Internationally, CARO maintains an important reciprocal relationship with the European SocieTy for Radiotherapy and Oncology, as well as the Union for International Cancer Control.

A history of pioneering innovation

Canada broke new ground in 1951, when the world’s first cancer treatment with Cobalt-60 was performed in London, Ontario. A few day later, another cancer patient – this time in Saskatoon – received radiation therapy using Cobalt-60. At that time, Canada was the only country in the world that had Cobalt-60 radiation machines.

The creation of CARO adds another chapter and layer to the history of Radiation Oncology in Canada. CARO is the result of discussions in 1984 between the representatives to the Canadian Association of Radiologists and the Canadian Oncology Society. Subsequently, a survey of radiation oncologists in Canada found a widely held desire to strengthen and unify their voices and to improve the specialty’s Annual Scientific Meeting. In 1985, a steering committee recommended the formation of an independent Canadian Association of Radiation Oncologists. A year later, CARO elected its first directors and officers, and thereafter incorporated in 1988.