The consultation process will determine if radiation therapy would be beneficial for you. If it is determined radiation therapy is appropriate and you consent to begin treatment, the clinical process begins with scheduling of a CT simulation procedure. This is the start of the process to develop an individualized treatment plan specific to your clinical needs. Please browse through this section to find out details regarding when to arrive and what you should expect during this important visit.
When to Arrive
On the day of your appointment, plan to arrive 15 minutes early in order to familiarize yourself with the department and to allow adequate time to change into a gown. You will then wait in one of our gender- specific waiting areas until the radiation therapist arrives to escort you to the simulation suite.
What to Expect
The purpose of the simulation appointment is to position you on the table in a precise manner that can be reproduced each day. And, perform the CT scan your radiation oncologist will use to plan your radiation treatments. It may be necessary to create custom immobilization that will help the radiation therapist to position you accurately for each day treatment. Because you will be asked to lie still, this process can cause discomfort. If you feel it to be necessary and your doctor approves, you can take medication for pain. Movement during the creation of the custom immobilization can compromise the setup and reproducibility of the treatment.
Planning your radiation treatments may require you to be given intravenous contrast to highlight the areas of interest on the CT scan. This will have been explained to you at the time of consultation, along with any specific dietary instructions that you may need to follow prior to simulation. The actual CT scan will only take about five-fifteen minutes.
The therapist may put marks on your skin with a felt tip marker and you will be asked not to wash these marks off. It is also quite possible that you will be given three very small marks permanent. These marks are used to position you each day for treatment.
If your treatment appointments are not set-up at the conclusion of the simulation procedure, a representative of the department will call you to schedule your treatment appointments. This can take up to seven business days, depending on the nature of your plan.