What to Expect During Treatment
Although every patient's treatment plan is different, you can expect that it will involve the following cComponents:
1. Daily Appointments for Several Weeks. Radiation therapy is usually given on a structured schedule over the course of several weeks or months. Most cancer patients receive four or five treatment sessions each week for several weeks. Depending on your needs or treatment protocol, you may go a week "on," then a week "off" over the course of several months.
2. Weekly Assessment Meetings. You will meet once each week with your radiation oncologist and nurse to assess your progress. Each radiation oncologist on our staff meets with their patients on a specific day; your specific day will be written on the appointment card inside this patient information handbook. This meeting day will not vary, unless a major holiday, emergency, or other conflict interferes.
3. Blood and Lab Tests. Most patients have their blood drawn for testing weekly, often on Mondays. Routine blood tests include a CBC (complete blood count) and platelet count. Sometimes, a physician in another clinical area or a nurse will schedule you for lab tests mid-week. When this occurs, please notify us so we can have your radiation oncology tests done at the same time.
4. Port Films. At the beginning of each treatment week, the therapist will take your "port films" to verify your treatment setup and treatment prescription. This is one way we can assure the quality and accuracy of your radiation therapy.