Your Radiation Therapy Experience at Huntington Hospital

Consultation

Our award-winning front office staff will schedule your first appointment with your radiation oncology physician. Plan for at least 90 minutes for your first visit. Our radiation oncology nurse will interview you and go over your medical history and medications. The radiation oncologist will then perform a history and physical examination. After your physical, your doctor will spend time with you discussing the proposed course of radiation. Your doctor will tell you how many treatments are recommended in your case. Standard whole breast radiation involves daily treatments Monday through Friday for about six weeks. You will learn about all the benefits and risks of the treatment and what to expect.

CT Simulation

Prior to initiation of therapy, you will have a special CT scan performed in our department for treatment planning purposes. In your treatment position, a scan will be done to ensure that your radiation treatment is tailored to your anatomy. Approximately five days or earlier after your planning, you will be ready to start treatments. You will be given your appointment to start treatment.

Treatments

Your first treatment is usually scheduled at 2:00, unless this is inconvenient for you. We have extra time scheduled for your first visit because your physician will check your set-up on the treatment table and we will need to take extra films to ensure complete accuracy of your treatment. Allow 45 minutes to an hour for your first treatment. After that, you can choose your treatment time and please let your radiation therapist know what treatment time is convenient for you. Your treatment is usually delivered in 20-30 minutes. We will give you a badge that will open the private patient entrance and let your therapist know you have arrived. We will validate your parking daily. After your first treatment, the nurse will go over skin management during treatment, give you written instructions for skin care and give you cream to use during treatment. After you start treatment, your nurse or physician will examine you on a weekly basis to manage any side-effects. Blood draws might be ordered by your physician during treatment.

For a list of helpful tips to minimize your side effects during radiation, please click here.

Side-Effects

The radiation treatment recommended is individualized based on your tumor type and stage. Therefore, it is important that your radiation oncologist advises you about side effects in your particular case, with your individualized treatment fields.

If you are receiving whole breast radiation, click here to learn more about the potential side-effects of whole breast irradiation.

If you will receive accelerated partial breast irradiation with the SAVI device, side effects can vary depending on the location of the tumor and the device placement. Your radiation oncologist will discuss the potential side effects with you.

Follow Up

Your radiation oncologist will continue to manage side-effects as needed after completion of treatment in follow up appointments. We continue to follow our patients with regular follow up appointments which are usually every six months. Of course, if our patients have any problems related to radiation, or need our assistance at any time, they can be seen immediately in our department. Your survivorship plan will delineate your follow up plans with all your treating physicians.

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