What to Expect
Welcome to the Department of Radiation Oncology. We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information about what you can expect during your first visit. Please allow at least 1½ hours for your first appointment, which is usually a consultation. You will meet with a physician and other members of the Radiation Oncology team to discuss the best treatment options available for you and determine the recommended course of treatment. For your convenience, we will request radiology and laboratory results and other information from your referring physician prior to your visit. This information will be reviewed by your radiation oncologist before you arrive.
In order to serve you better, please bring the following information with you on your first visit:
- Download the Medical History Form . Please complete the form and bring it with you on the day of your appointment
- Insurance cards
- Employer's name, address and phone number, if you are covered under your employer's insurance program
- Advance Directives ("living will") if you have one
- Referring physician's name, address and phone number
- List of medications you currently take (including over-the-counter medicines)
- Parking ticket for validation
We encourage you to bring a family member or friend with you to help listen and take notes during your appointment. And if you need translation services or interpretation for the hearing impaired, just let the appointment scheduling staff know when you call. We'll be happy to accommodate you.
We hope this information is helpful in preparing for your visit. Each member of the department is committed to providing you with the highest quality of medical care in a supportive environment to help you through your treatment experience.
Most patients receive their treatments through the method called "external beam radiation". The machine that delivers the radiation is called a "linear accelerator". This treatment is given by radiation therapists who are part of your treatment team. As you lie on the table a radiation therapist will make sure you are in the proper treatment position. If an immobilization device was made during CT Simulation, it will be used during every treatment to make sure that you are in the exact same position every day. Once you are positioned correctly, the therapist will leave the room and go to the control area where they will watch you on a television monitor while they deliver the therapy. There is an intercom system so that you can talk to the therapist if you have any concerns.
The radiation therapist may move the treatment machine and treatment table to target the radiation beam to the exact treatment area. The machine makes slight noises during treatment and this is completely normal. You won't feel or see anything while receiving your treatment. With the exception of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, the whole process, from entering the treatment room until you have finished your treatment, usually takes 15-20 minutes.