Once you and your radiation oncologist have decided that you will have radiation therapy treatment, the planning process will start.
To plan your treatment your radiation oncologist needs to see where the cancer is and the area around it. Usually, this means you will have a planning CT simulation appointment in the radiation therapy department.
At this appointment, you will lie down on the CT scanner bed. The radiation therapists will position you. Please tell the radiation therapists if you are uncomfortable. You will have to lie in this exact position each time you have your radiation treatment.
Depending on what area of your body is being treated, you may also need:
- A mould or mask(shell) to keep you perfectly still
- IV contrast (dye) injection to help see the cancer or blood vessels better
- Permanent tattoos (the size of a freckle) to help put you in the right position
After the CT simulation appointment, the radiation oncologist, radiation therapists, and medical physicist will plan your treatment.
Once your treatment plan is completed, a radiation therapy clerk will call you with the date and time of your first treatment. On that day, the radiation therapists will sit down with you to explain the process and answer your questions.