Your Radiation Therapy Experience at Huntington Hospital
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.
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.
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
For a list of helpful tips to minimize your side effects during radiation,
please click here.
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
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.
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.