What to Expect During Radiation Therapy

What should I expect on the first visit?
You will meet with our oncology certified nurses and discuss your medical history and current medications.  Our physician, a Board-Certified Radiation Oncologist, examines you and discusses your options for radiation treatment.  If you decide to have treatment, we make you an appointment for external beam simulation or in instances of brachytherapy, you will discuss with our nurses your next appointment based on treatment site. This appointment takes approximately 1 - 1.5 hours.

What should I bring?
Insurance cards, referral, if required for insurance, lists of medications, outside films (X-rays, CT scans, mammograms, MRI's, etc.) if done at a facility other than Geisinger-Lewistown Hospital.

What is an external beam simulation appointment?
You should allow 1 to 1.5 hours for your appointment. This visit consists of creating customized treatment immobilizers that you will be placed in during treatment. These immobilizers are used for both patient comfort and treatment accuracy. You may also receive at this appointment a CT or PET/CT scan, which is used by our physics team to create your treatment plan while in your newly created immobilizers. At this visit, the radiation therapists will schedule your daily time; which should begin several days after this simulation appointment.

What can I expect during my external beam daily treatments?
Daily Treatments are provided by board certified Radiation Therapists, and take approximately 15 minutes, five days a week. The physician determines the number of treatments you need. As part of your treatment you will meet weekly with your physician in order to discuss your ongoing care. Periodic blood work should also be expected.

What can I expect during my brachytherapy treatment appointment?
The layout for these appointments are very site specific. These appointments can range from one time per week to two times a day for five days. Our nurses will explain everything in detail so you as the patient have nothing to worry about but to get well.

What happens after I complete my therapy?
After treatments are complete, periodic follow-up visits are scheduled with the Radiation Oncologist in order to continue to monitor your treatment response.