First Visit - Simulation and Marking of the Treatment area
- During your first visit a CT scan could be done for computerised simulation purposes.
- Your doctor will then use the CT images to reconstruct a 3D model and to plan the radiation treatment. The area to be irradiated is determined by means of a localising scan or X-rays, and then marked. This is called a simulation.
- It is possible that some reference marks will be made on your body and the radiographer will inform you if you need to preserve these or if you can wash them off.
- Special equipment may be used to immobilise your body in the same position every day.
- It is very important that the marks that have been made on your body remain there.
PLEASE BRING ALONG ANY PREVIOUS X-RAYS OR SCANS that may be of use. Sometimes the treatment area is decreased during the course of the treatments. This is called a booster.
Subsequent visits - Treatment
- It is very important for you to visit the oncologist once a week during irradiation.
- Please arrange these appointments with the oncologist's receptionist in good time once you have received the irradiation dates.
- Please get your irradiation file from the radiotherapists on the day on which you are to visit the oncologist.
- Please be so kind as to return your file to the radiotherapists after your appointment with the oncologist.
- When simulation / booster is done, please bring along all your scans and X-rays so that the position of the irradiation area can be determined.
- To change radiotherapy appointments, please phone the relevant radiotherapy receptionist without delay.
YOU MAY BATH OR SHOWER, but you must make sure that these marks are not washed off. A quick bath or shower is preferable. If you do take a bath, do not soak in the water. Use a gentle soap for example Dove soap.
Irradiation is not painful and patients are not radioactive after irradiation, therefore you pose no threat to other people.
During irradiation you will be alone in the treatment room, but you will be monitored on a television screen. There is also an intercom system.
It is extremely important that you keep very still, but you may breathe normally.
Read about the Side Effects of Radiotherapy.