On your First Visit

A Radiation Oncologist, a physician who has been trained to use radiation in the treatment of disease, will meet with you to review your medical history and the results of any tests that have been taken up to that point. Additional studies may be needed after this review and if so will be ordered during the consultation. The Radiation Oncologist will then meet with you and your family to discuss whether radiation therapy is an option for you. After the decision is made, we will provide you with very specific instructions about the course of treatment outlined by the Radiation Oncologist.

At Florida Radiation Oncology, we always take the time to answer any questions you might have about your cancer diagnosis and treatment options. We want you to feel comfortable with the information you receive. We encourage you to bring a family member or friend with you for your first visit and to write down any questions you have before you meet with the doctor.

Simulation and Treatment Planning



After radiation therapy is chosen as the appropriate method of treatment for you, the treatment planning begins. When you are placed on the simulation couch, the treatment area will be outlined using small semi-permanent marks. This will assure that the same treatment area is targeted daily throughout the course of your treatment. The simulation procedure can last from thirty to sixty minutes depending on the treatment plan.



After the simulation is completed, the radiation oncologist, the dosimetrist and the medical physicist will take this information and plan the course of treatment with the aid of a treatment planning computer. All of the information gathered will be entered into the computer to assist the team in determining the optimum method of delivering your radiation treatments.

The Treatment





With the planning complete and the course of therapy determined, you will be treated on the linear accelerator. This machine uses high-energy photons or electrons to destroy the tumor with minimal effects on the area surrounding the tumor. You will lie on a procedure couch during your therapy, each treatment generally lasts only a couple of minutes. The course of treatment is usually given daily over a period of two to eight weeks.

Treatments are usually given each day of the week, Monday – Friday. In most cases, you will be treated at the same time every day. Occasionally, scheduling conflicts arise and your appointment time may have to be changed.



During your course of treatment, the Radiation Oncologist will examine you to insure that everything is proceeding as planned. You will also be monitored by the Radiation Therapist and a Radiation Oncology nurse.

Occasionally, you may also need further diagnostic tests to monitor your response to the treatments.

Follow-Up

Once you have completed your treatments, you will be given a follow-up appointment to return to see the Radiation Oncologist.