Ans: No. At Radiant Oncology, we use what is called external beam radiation, which is man-made radiation delivered by a machine called a linear accelerator. This type of radiation treatment will not make you radioactive.
Ans: Yes, with external beam radiation, you are not radioactive as a result of your radiation treatments, and it is safe to be around friends and family.
Ans: Radiation treatments are delivered by Radiation Therapists. Radiation Therapists are highly educated medical professionals with specialty training including radiation biology, radiation safety, cross-sectional anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, and medical physics.
Ans: Once you start your course of radiation, you will see your Radiation Oncologist on a weekly basis for what is called an On-Treatment Visit (OTV). If questions arise at any point between your OTV appointments, our team will work to address your concerns, and get you in contact with your physician when needed.
Ans: No, you will not feel anything during your radiation treatments.
Ans: The number of treatments you receive will vary based on your specific diagnosis and history, and can range from a single treatment to as many as 44. Treatments are delivered on a daily basis, Monday through Friday.
Ans: The length of each radiation treatment will vary depending upon treatment type. In general, each treatment takes between 10 minutes and 1 hour.
Ans: At the time of your CT simulation, you will receive a cost estimate which will provide a detailed cost breakdown. You will see if you have any out of pocket cost or if it is completely covered by insurance. This is a standard treatment covered by insurance in the vast majority of instances. If there is any concern about the cost, please speak with your physician or our billing department.
Ans: Unlike chemotherapy, radiation only works where it is pointed. Therefore, unless the vast majority of the head is being irradiated, you will not lose all of your hair. If a small target in the head is being treated, then a small amount of hair will be lost. It will grow back in 3-6 months.
Ans: Modern radiation is intended to target deep tumors, while passing THROUGH the skin. Unless we are targeting something near the skin, the skin will not receive much radiation dose. If we ARE targeting a tumor near the skin or on the skin, we will manage the side effects to the skin every week in our “on treatment visits”.