Before you start your treatment, radiotherapy has to be carefully planned. This helps to make sure it is as effective as possible, whilst causing the least possible damage to the healthy tissue nearby. It is planned by a cancer specialist (clinical oncologist), a physicist, and a specialist radiographer.
Your first planning visit will take about 30 to 60 minutes. You may have more than one planning visit. The staff in the radiotherapy department will explain what to expect. It is important that you feel you are involved in your treatment. Remember to ask questions about anything you do not understand or feel worried about.
You will usually have a CT (computerised tomography) scan, which takes x-rays of the area to be treated. You may need some small marks drawn on your skin. These help the radiographer (who gives you your treatment) position you accurately and show where the treatment will be given. It is important not to rub them off until your course of treatment has finished. Sometimes, tiny, permanent marks are made on the skin.