What to Expect
Scheduling Your Consultation Appointment
Your initial visit is typically a consultation. To request a consultation, you can start the process by calling us or clicking here.
First Visit – Consultation
During your initial visit, our specialists will begin the process of determining whether radiation therapy may be able to help you. We will review imaging studies, blood work and biopsies that have been performed. We will also review your past medical history, surgical history, family history, medications, allergies and lifestyle. A physical examination is usually performed. Additional testing may be ordered. If radiation therapy is recommended, we will begin creating a personalized treatment plan, including a discussion on the potential benefits and risks of radiation therapy and addressing any questions you may have.
Simulation and Treatment Planning
If you elect to proceed with radiation therapy, the next step is a simulation or planning day. This is the first step in the process of delivering radiotherapy. The radiation oncologist oversees this process, but you will also interact with other team members on this day. You will typically be imaged with a specialized type of CT scanner in an anatomic position that is carefully determined to be ideal for receiving your radiation therapy. This process also often involves aids to assist you in maintaining your radiotherapy position as well as the placement of pin prick sized tattoo dots. These dots assist in precisely aligning you during radiotherapy treatments. Most, but not all, patients receive tattoos.
The first radiotherapy treatment is usually one to two weeks after your simulation / planning day. On treatment days, patients can expect to be in the facility for about 30 minutes, with actual treatment delivery typically lasting 5-10 minutes. Our radiation oncologists will closely monitor you during your course of treatment. Most commonly, patients will be seen by the nurse and physician once a week for a “mini-check up” on-treatment visit.