During Radiation Treatment

Your first Radiation Therapy treatment 

On the first day of your treatment you will need to check in with the receptionist on the Lower Ground floor who will direct you to the waiting area.

If for any reason you cannot keep your appointment please contact us as soon as possible by telephoning 3640-020.

If you are driving to the hospital for your appointments refer to Location for directions. Please note that parking is very limited so allow extra time for finding a car park if driving to your appointments.  See the hospital information on car parking and alternative travel.

Discussing your treatment

A Radiation Therapist will collect you from the waiting room and sit with you prior to the treatment to discuss your treatment and what to expect. This is a recap of the information given to you previously by your doctor and the Radiation Therapist at your CT planning session. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

You will also be given your treatment appointment times for the week ahead. You may have a preferred time for your treatment and we will try to accommodate your request if possible.

If you need to change into a gown or trousers the RT will show you to the changing room before taking you to the treatment room.

It is normal to feel nervous or apprehensive about your first day of treatment but most people find the treatment a lot easier than they imagined. However if you do feel anxious the treatment team will be more than willing to discuss any concerns you have.

Radiation therapists work in teams and its likely that you will meet several different members of the team during your treatment. Usually 2 people from the team will treat you each day.

In the treatment room

You need to be in the same position you were in when you had your CT planning scan so we will take some time making sure that you are in the correct position on the couch. This can take a few minutes. All you need to do is relax, breathe normally and let the Radiation Therapists move you (if required).

The total amount of time spent in the treatment room is usually 10-20 minutes but your first treatment will take longer as we will check your treatment plan once again. The treatment team will also take an x-ray picture to verify you are in the correct position. If we need to make any small, final adjustments we may come back into the room to do this or we may move the couch from the Control Area outside, in which case it's possible that you'll notice the couch move slightly. Again, all you need to do is relax, keep still and breathe normally.

Delivering the treatment

Once you are positioned correctly, the Radiation Therapists will deliver the treatment. You are alone in the room when the machine is switched on but the staff will watch you on closed circuit television screens. During your treatment you will not feel or see anything but the machines make a small buzzing noise. It is important that you remain relaxed and very still during the treatment. Please do not move until the Radiation therapist tells you that your treatment is complete.

Appointments with other Health Professionals

During your treatment you will also have appointments, usually once a week, with your oncology doctor. These are held in the same part of the building. The department also has specialist nurses, dieticians and other health professionals who can support you during your treatment if necessary.
The number of treatments you receive and therefore the number of visits to the Oncology department will depend on the total dose of radiation prescribed for you. Your radiation treatment is usually given on weekdays however you may be asked to attend at the weekend if maintenance is required on a treatment machine.

A small number of people may need to stay in hospital during treatment.

Support people

You are welcome to bring family or support people with you when you come for your treatment appointments. They may accompany you into the room while we move you into the correct position but will be asked to leave the room before your treatment starts.​

Page last reviewed: 30 October 2014
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