What to Expect
Like anything unfamiliar, your first experience with radiotherapy is likely to be the most daunting. Each session will take between 10 – 20 minutes for the radiation therapists to position you on the treatment couch and the radiation dose to be delivered.
Radiation therapists will leave the room and go to the control room adjacent where they can monitor you closely on closed circuit TV and audio setup. During your treatment the radiation therapists will move both the treatment machine and couch to precise pre- determined planned orientations that best target the exact area of your body needing treatment.
The machine will make a noise during treatment that is like a buzzing, whirring sound.
Everybody's case is slightly different, for example, if you are having treatment to the head, face or neck area you may need to have a personalised face mask made. This mask provides good stability whilst maintaining comfort and ensures that your daily treatment beams are directed with accuracy. Most treatments take place daily (Monday to Friday) over a period of six to eight weeks. The radiation is divided into multiple smaller doses, referred to as "fractions", over this time.
The rationale for fractionation or daily dose delivery of a prescribed radiation dose is two-fold.
- Firstly, it is done to maximise the potent effect of radiation on cancer cells i.e. killing cancer cells, and
- Secondly, to allow regeneration and repair of healthy tissues surrounding the cancer.
The treatment itself is PAINLESS, just like having an x-ray taken.
We encourage you to bring along a family member or a friend. They may be present in the treatment room upon request but must leave when any of the machines are switched on.
Appointment time requests are taken at the initial appointment in order to minimise interruption to other commitments. We have a dedicated bookings person who books appointments for you, and we do our best to manage special requests.