Your treatment plan is custom-tailored to your medical status, and is designed to achieve the treatment objectives developed by your radiation oncology physician.
Prior to the start of radiation treatments, it is necessary to perform pre-treatment planning and simulation. This involves performing X-ray imaging procedures to define the treatment area(s) that will receive radiation therapy. This is usually completed in one appointment.
You will be given an appointment card with the time and date of your first appointment for treatment.
Your appointment time will usually be the same throughout your course of treatment; For example: Monday through Friday at 2:15 p.m. (Routine treatments are scheduled Monday through Friday on a daily basis between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except for holidays.)
Please arrive 10 minutes ahead of time. Arriving 10 minutes early allows you enough time to change and be ready for treatment at your scheduled time. This helps eliminate waiting for you and other patients. Please call your therapist if you expect to be late or will miss a treatment.
Daily Treatment Appointments for Several Weeks
Radiation therapy is usually given on a structured schedule over the course of several weeks. A typical treatment duration is 6-8 weeks. Treatments generally are completed within 15 minutes, but can take longer depending on complexity.
Weekly Assessment Meetings
You will meet once each week with your radiation oncologist and nurse to assess your progress. At least weekly, and sometimes daily, the therapist will take your "port films" or x-rays that verify your treatment setup and treatment prescription. This is one way to ensure the quality and accuracy of your radiation therapy.
Port films do not give your physician information on the status of your cancer.
Variations from the Routine
Some days, your appointment will be longer than usual. On-treatment visits (OTV) and end-of-treatment visits (ETV) with your nurse and physician are examples of longer appointment days.
Rescheduling an Appointment
As often as possible, we will try to schedule the treatments at times that are convenient for you. Please let your therapist know if there is a specific time that works best for you, or if you have any ongoing time conflicts. We will do our best to accommodate your request, but cannot guarantee the specific time you want will be available.
Your therapist will advise you of any schedule changes caused by major holidays. We understand that emergencies and conflicts can occur at your appointment time. It is best that you do not skip any treatments or other clinic appointments. Therefore, if you must reschedule your appointment, please notify us as soon as possible. (One day's notice is helpful.)
Billing and Insurance
Our office staff will interview you about your insurance and health care provider, and contact them regarding your eligibility under your current plan.
You will receive two separate bills. One bill will refer to professional services from the physician; the second bill will refer to technical services from the hospital.