- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Radiation therapy
- Common questions about radiation therapy
- Steps in radiation therapy
Steps in radiation therapy
Below we outline the steps you will go through if you have radiation therapy.
Consultation sessionYou will meet with a radiation oncologist. They will check your test results and scans, and assess your fitness for radiation therapy. They will explain the treatment process and expected results, as well as possible side effects and risks, so that you can agree (consent) to have radiation therapy.
Planning sessionYou will meet with the radiation therapy team in the radiation therapy department so they can work out the best position for your body during treatment (EBRT) or where to place the applicators (brachytherapy).
Treatment planThe radiation oncologist, radiation therapist and radiation physicist will use the information from the planning session to work out the treatment area and how to deliver the right dose of radiation, based on the treatment guidelines for the particular type of cancer. The treatment plan will also include ways to prevent or manage possible side effects.
Treatment sessionsRadiation therapists will deliver the course of radiation therapy as set out in the treatment plan. How long each treatment session takes will depend on the type of radiation therapy.
Follow-upYou will have regular check-ups with your treatment team to see whether the cancer has responded to treatment and to discuss how to manage any side effects.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Madhavi Chilkuri, Radiation Oncologist, Townsville Cancer Centre, The Townsville Hospital, and Dean, RANZCR Faculty of Radiation Oncology, QLD; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Patricia Hanley, Consumer; Prof Michael Hofman, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Physician, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Leanne Hoy, Cancer Nurse Consultant, GenesisCare, VIC; Sharon King, Accredited Practising Dietitian, TAS; Dr Yoo Young (Dominique) Lee, Radiation Oncology Consultant, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Dr Wendy Phillips, Senior Medical Physicist, Department of Radiation Oncology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Katrina Rech, Radiation Therapist and Quality Systems Manager, GenesisCare, SA. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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