At that time the head of the Department of Radiation Oncology & Nuclear Medicine was Prof. dr. Ismail Kazem. He was of Egyptian descent and had received his medical training in the UK and Germany. He was quite a character, best illustrated by the fact that apart from being an excellent physician, he was also a poet. As a teacher he believed in throwing his trainees in at the deep end, which was challenging at times, but also resulted in rapid acquisition of knowledge in a very short time. He considered his trainees ompetent physicians from day one and considered every treatment plan you came up with carefully before making some suggestions for improvement. During my training he left and was succeeded by Prof. dr. W.A.J. van Daal. I finished my training in 1986. During my training I was also involved in pediatric radiotherapy.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in the Netherlands, with ~48.000 deaths and ~108.000 new diagnoses in 2016.1,2 The incidence of cancer is expected to increase by ~70% in the next 20 years.3 A possible cause for this apparent increase in incidence may be due to improvements in diagnostic modalities and may imply that a proportion of the increasing cancer incidence is due to overdiagnosis, which has been described for breast cancer and thyroid cancer.4,5