Treatment Process

Step 1. Consultation Step 2. CT/Simulation Step 3. Treatment Planning Step 4. Radiation Therapy Step 5. Followup Step 1. Consultation Step 2. CT/Simulation Step 3. Treatment Planning Step 4. Radiation Therapy Step 5. Followup

Step 4. Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is usually given once a day, Monday through Friday, over a number of weeks. Your Radiation Oncologist will determine the exact length of your treatment course. It’s based on many factors, including your specific cancer.

Although each actual radiation treatment typically lasts a few minutes, your daily appointment may range from 15 to 30 minutes (sometimes 1 hour for special treatments) to allow sufficient time to precisely position you on the treatment machine according to your treatment plan. 

You will get your appointment time from the receptionist. We will do our very best to accommodate your schedule. However, if you must cancel/change your appointment on a particular day, we ask that you give the receptionist at least 24 hours' notice.   

Radiation Therapists will bring you into the treatment room on each day of treatment after you have changed into a gown (if appropriate). The Radiation Therapist is responsible for physically positioning you on the treatment table and delivering the radiation dose to you under the supervision of your Radiation Oncologist. You will be placed on the treatment table in the same position you were in during the simulation procedure, including the use of any immobilization devices that were created during the simulation. 

Your cooperation in remaining still is extremely important, and the Radiation Therapists will kindly remind you to do so. The Radiation Therapists will use laser lights and your tattoo marks to line up your body precisely on the treatment machine.

Once the Radiation Therapists have aligned your body according to the specifications of your treatment plan, they will leave the room. No one is allowed to stay in the room with you during the actual delivery of radiation. Rest assured that the Radiation Therapists will be monitoring you on camera from outside the treatment room and can communicate with you via intercom as needed. You cannot see or feel the radiation as it is being delivered to your body.

On your first day and on a routine basis during radiation treatments, your body positioning will be confirmed with a rapid CT scan or with X-ray films (depending on which treatment machine you receive therapy on). These images are not used for diagnostic purposes, but rather are used to ensure accuracy in your body positioning for treatments.

Cancer Guide