Radiation Therapy – What to Expect
This is your initial meeting with your Radiation Oncologist. A history and physical exam will be done. The process of radiation therapy will be discussed and any questions or concerns that you may have will be addressed. You will be given more information about what to expect during each step of your treatment. During this visit we will also review your insurance benefits and the financial implications of your treatment.
Radiation Therapy Treatment Planning
Radiation therapy treatment planning is a detailed, sophisticated process. It involves a team of professionals who customize the plan based on your clinical needs. The following are steps required to prepare your plan.
Prostate Marker Placement:
Marker placement involves implanting gold markers in the prostate or prostate bed to target the treatment area and focus the radiation beam. The markers are placed in the prostate utilizing the same procedure as was used to obtain the biopsy samples. These markers do not need to be removed at the end of treatment and provide us with a target to align your daily treatment. We will give you specific instructions when we schedule your appointment.
Approximately 7-10 days after your markers are placed; we will perform a CT Simulation. During this procedure we are able to view the markers and surrounding organs. This simulation allows for your personal customized treatment plan. We will give you specific instructions for the preparation of this procedure when we schedule your appointment.
At the time of CT Simulation, we will review the daily treatment process and encourage you to ask questions or raise concerns. You will be asked to review and sign a consent form giving the radiation therapy team permission to treat you and to perform the tests that are necessary to plan your treatment.
Your treatment process will begin approximately 7-10 days after the CT Simulation. Treatment is done daily Monday through Friday for a period 7-9 weeks. We will make every effort to arrange your treatment time so it fits into your daily schedule as best as possible. Weekly you will meet with your radiation oncologist and her nurse to discuss any concerns and answer any questions or concerns you may have while going through your treatments.
Once your treatment is finished, you will have a follow-up appointment with your radiation oncologist. We also ask that you have a follow up appointment with your urologist. Appointments may be made during treatment if questions of concerns arise. At your follow-up appointment, you may be asked to have additional tests, including x-rays, scans, blood and urine tests, and other laboratory tests.
Some final points regarding what to expect during your treatment for
your Prostate Cancer:
- Radiation Therapy will NOT interrupt your normal daily routine.
- Your treatments will be the same time each day.
- If you feel the need, a family member of close friend may accompany you.
- We are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment. We are here to help you.