Planning your radiotherapy treatment

Radiotherapy has to be carefully planned to make sure it’s as effective as possible. It’s planned by a cancer specialist (clinical oncologist) and it may take a few visits. On your first visit to the radiotherapy department, you’ll be asked to have a CT scan or lie under a machine called a simulator, which takes x-rays of the area to be treated.

Marks will be drawn on your radiotherapy mask. This is to help the radiographer position you accurately and to show where the rays will be directed.

Treatment sessions

At the beginning of each session, the radiographer will position you carefully on the couch with the mask and make sure you’re comfortable. The treatment itself only takes a few minutes. You’ll be left alone in the room but you can talk to the radiographer who will watch you from the next room.

Radiotherapy is not painful, but you have to be very still for a few minutes during the treatment. Some people may have a scan each day before radiotherapy, to make sure they are in the correct position.

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Who might I meet?

You will meet many different specialists before, during and after radiotherapy treatment.