What to expect

On your first visit to the Radiation Oncology Clinic, please bring with you:

  • Your medical records from other physicians and hospitals
  • Previous radiation therapy records
  • Laboratory reports
  • X-rays (films and reports)
  • CT or MRI scans (films and reports)
  • All pathology (reports and slides)
  • A list of all your current medications

Many health care professionals will be involved with your care in the Radiation Oncology Clinic. This team includes:

  • Radiation Oncologists (physicians who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapy)
  • Registered Nurses
  • Patient Care Technicians 
  • Radiation Therapists
  • Dosimetrists
  • Medical Physicists
  • Social Workers
  • Patient Service Coordinators

When you arrive at the clinic, a Patient Service Coordinator will greet you and begin the registration process. Your insurance and demographic information will be reviewed with you. You will be given a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) information packet. This information tells you and your family about patient privacy rights and Banner University Medical Center's commitment to protect those rights.

Following registration, a registered nurse will obtain your vital signs and review medication and health history with you.  The radiation oncologist will meet with you to review your medical history and perform a physical examination. This will help assess the extent of disease and your general physical condition. Treatment options will be explained to you and a plan of care will be formulated.

You also may be eligible to participate in a research study. If so, a coordinator from the Clinical Research Office will explain the study to you and answer all questions.

The planning of your treatment may require several additional appointments before radiation therapy actually begins. At the end of your first visit, an appointment will be made for your treatment simulation. Simulation is not actual radiation treatment, but rather is a part of the treatment planning process. A special CT scan may be obtained to help with treatment planning. This CT scan is different from the diagnostic CT scan used to determine the extent of your disease. Treatment aides or immobilization devices may be custom-made for you. They will help you remain still during your simulation and later during each of your treatment sessions.

Once the treatment planning has been completed, you will be scheduled to begin your actual treatment. The number and length of your treatments will vary depending on the size, location and type of cancer. Treatments are usually scheduled daily, Monday through Friday, and continue for several weeks. Your physician will discuss the specific length of radiation treatment with you.