What to Expect
The first step is meeting with the Radiation Oncologist (a Board-certified
physician specializing in Radiation Therapy) for an initial consultation.
The doctor will discuss your diagnosis and outline possible treatment
options. Once the decision is made to have radiation treatment you will
be scheduled for a simulation. A simulation is also referred to as a planning
session, where films and measurements are taken so that your doctor, physicist
and dosimetrist can design your individual treatment plan.
After a physical examination and a review of your medical history with
the doctor, your treatment team will use CT images to map the exact location
to be treated and determine the position of your body for your radiation
treatments. The treatment team may also make custom masks or molds, and
utilize headrests, wedges and other immobilization devices that help to
keep you in position during treatment. Usually the area of your body that
requires treatment will be marked with either a special dye or a small
tattoo so your treatment fields can be set up accurately for every treatment.
Once the simulation process is complete, the Radiation Oncologist, physicist,
and dosimetrist will determine your exact treatment plan, including the
type of energy to use, the amount of radiation that is needed, and the
number of treatments that will be given.
Your first treatment may take up to one hour as the Radiation Therapists
do quality assurance checks to ensure that everything is exactly as Radiation
Oncologist prescribed. If you are receiving external beam treatment, your
daily treatment will take only ten to twenty minutes to complete. Daily
CyberKnife treatments take 30 to 90 minutes to complete depending on what
area you’re having treated. We will make every effort to make your
daily treatments as convenient and pleasant as possible.
You may experience some side effects during your course of radiation treatment.
Fatigue and skin irritation are among the most common side effects experienced
by most patients. Side effects vary depending on the area being treated
and the sensitivity of each patient. The Radiation Oncologist and the
Radiation Oncology Nurses can offer advice and assistance in minimizing