Many definitions used in this report can be found in the Radiotherapy waiting times National minimum data set 2015–18, at  (METeOR identifier: 579304).

course of radiotherapy: A series of one or more external beam radiotherapy treatments prescribed by a radiation oncologist.

curative: Treatment given with the intention of curing disease. See also intention of treatment.

emergency status (radiotherapy): An indicator of whether the treatment required for the patient is clinically assessed as an emergency. An emergency is where the treating clinician has assessed the waiting time for treatment cannot exceed 24 hours (METeOR identifier: 448126).

intention of treatment: The reason treatment is provided to a patient (METeOR identifier: 583857).

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems: The World Health Organization’s internationally accepted classification of death and disease. The 10th Revision (ICD-10) is currently in use. The ICD-10-AM is the Australian modification of the ICD-10, and is used for reporting by principal diagnosis in this report.

palliative treatment: Treatment given primarily for the purpose of pain or other symptom control. Consequent benefits of the treatment are considered secondary contributions to quality of life. See also intention of treatment.

principal diagnosis: The diagnosis established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning a patient’s service event or episode (METeOR identifier: 433356).

prophylactic treatment: Treatment given to prevent the occurrence of disease at a site that exhibits no sign of active disease but is considered to be at risk. See also intention of treatment.

radiotherapy: Radiation directed at a localised area to kill or damage cancer cells. See also Box: What is Radiotherapy?

ready for care: The date, in the opinion of the treating clinician, on which a patient is ready to commence treatment (METeOR identifier: 448141).

remoteness areas: The Australian Statistical Geography Standard Remoteness Structure, 2016 defines remoteness areas in 5 classes of relative remoteness across Australia: Major cities, Inner regional, Outer regional, Remote, Very remote. These remoteness areas are centred on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia, which is based on the road distances people have to travel for services. For more information see: Rural and remote health.

sector: In this report, ‘sector’ relates to whether the site where treatment is delivered (facility or individual service location) is publicly or privately owned. This information is provided by the jurisdiction. Private providers under contract to deliver services exclusively to public patients manage some sites, and are considered to be public providers for this report. Some private sites have a contract or partnership arrangement in place to provide services to public patients, but also provide services to private patients. In this report these services are characterised as private, along with services that provide services to private patients only. Some jurisdictions have no private radiotherapy providers. This collection does not include information on the source of funding for the patient (that is, whether they are a public or private patient).

socioeconomic area: the ABS Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD) is a composite measure using a range of socioeconomic information such as a person’s level of income, education or occupation. The population living in the 20% of areas with the greatest overall level of disadvantage is described as the ‘lowest socioeconomic areas’. The 20% at the other end of the scale—the top fifth—is described as the ‘highest socioeconomic areas’. Note that the IRSD reflects the overall or average level of disadvantage of the population of an area; it does not show how individuals living in the same area differ from each other in their socioeconomic position. For more information see: Health across socioeconomic groups

waiting time: The number of days between when the patient was ready for care, and when the radiotherapy started (METeOR identifier: 517220).