Step 1: Consultation
Your consultation appointment will take about an hour. We encourage you to bring a family member or other support person to the consultation. You will meet with a nurse who will talk with you about your current and past medical history, review any medications you may be taking.
You will meet with a radiation oncologist who will do a physical exam, X-rays, and test results, and order any additional tests if needed.
The radiation oncologist will then talk with you about how you could benefit from radiation therapy, explain the details of treatment, potential side effects, and answer your questions.
Please bring these things with you to your consultation appointment:
- A list of your current medications, including the name of each drug and dose
- Health insurance card or information
- Advanced directive or medical power of attorney, if available
- A list of questions you would like to ask
Step 2: A Treatment Plan
If the radiation oncologist recommends radiation therapy treatment and proceeds with this plan, you will have one or more treatment planning appointments. The planning session, sometimes referred to as simulation, help the radiation oncology team determine the best set-up and placement of the radiation beams – to focus a prescribed amount of radiation to the targeted area while minimizing the impact to the healthy tissues around it. Your planning session will last approximately one hour.
Step 3: Beginning Treatment
Once the treatment planning is complete, you will return to Knox Community Hospital's Center for Cancer Care to begin your treatment. Each treatment plan is unique. Your treatments will usually take place Monday through Friday at the same appointment time each day.
Our staff works very hard to accommodate your schedule as you plan your daily treatments.
The Radiation Oncologist is the physician who oversees radiation therapy treatments and works with the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and to ensure that each treatment is given accurately. The Radiation Oncologist also monitors your progress and adjusts your treatments as necessary.
Medical physicists oversee the work of the dosimetrist to help ensure that treatments are properly tailored to each patient. They collaborate with radiation oncologists to design treatment routines, take precise measurements of the radiation beam and monitor equipment and procedures to ensure that each patient properly receives the prescribed dose of radiation.
Medical dosimetrists work closely with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to carefully develop a treatment plan and to calculate the exact dose of radiation specifically required for each patient. They aim to effectively treat the tumor while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.
A radiation therapist is a specially licensed therapist who administers daily radiation treatment under the doctor’s prescription and supervision. They also maintain daily records and regularly check the equipment that provide radiation treatments.