What Will Happen on My First Visit to Radiation Oncology

When You Arrive

At the time of your initial visit, you should bring a family member or close friend for the consultation process. This is an important step that must be taken before actual treatment. The radiation oncologist will evaluate your individual case by reviewing medical records, performing a physical examination and conferring with your referring physician. A nurse will assist the physician during this evaluation and explain the different procedures. If treatment is deemed appropriate, the radiation oncologist will identify treatment benefi ts and risks and answer any questions. The next step is simulation and treatment planning.


The Radiation Team

Providing radiation therapy is a team effort. The team is led by the radiation oncologist (a physician with specialized training in using radiation to treat disease). The physician will determine the type of radiation that will provide the most benefi t to the patient, prescribe the amount of radiation, coordinate the treatment plan and carefully monitor progress. Other team members include:

The radiation therapy nurse who provides nursing care, emotional support and assistance with medical problems, as well as information about treatment and side effects.

The radiation physicist monitors treatments and functioning of the equipment to ensure it is working properly and delivering the correct dose of radiation.

The dosimetrist is under the supervision of the radiationoncologist. He/she will develop individualized plans using state-of-the-art computers to calculate dosage and treatment time.

The radiation therapist positions the patient for treatments and operates the equipment that delivers radiation.

Dietitians and/or social workers are also available to meet with you.