During treatment

The number of radiation therapy treatments you receive and therefore the number of visits to the Oncology department will depend on the total dose of radiation prescribed for you.

The majority of people are treated weekdays as an outpatient. A small number of people may require a hospital admission.

You may experience side effects during your treatment.

Your first radiation therapy treatment

This appointment will be on Level B1 of  Lomas Building(external link).

  • Check in with the receptionist who will direct you to your treatment unit.
    Note: Treatment units are colour coded for simplicity: Green, Pink, Blue and Yellow
  • A radiation therapist will discuss your treatment and what to expect, prior to treatment being delivered. This is a perfect opportunity to ask any questions.
  • You will be given appointment times for the week ahead. If you have a preferred time for treatment we will try and accommodate your request.
  • It is normal to feel anxious on your first day of treatment but most people find it a lot easier than they imagine. If you do feel anxious the treatment team are more than willing to discuss any concerns you have. Music does play quietly in the background.
  • It is likely you will be asked to change into a gown or trousers.

In the room

  • For treatment you need to be in the same position as when you had your simulation. Each day, two or three members of the team take a few minutes positioning you on the treatment bed.
  • Relax, keep still, and breathe normally.
  • The total amount of time spent in the treatment room is approximately 10-20 minutes but your first treatment will take slightly longer as a series of day one checks are performed.

Treatment delivery

  • Once you are positioned correctly and the treatment unit is set at the right angles, radiation therapists leave the room. Staff always watch you on closed circuit cameras and can communicate via an intercom system if necessary.
  • The treatment team take x-ray images to verify you are in the correct position. If we need to make any adjustments we can come back into the room to do this or the treatment bed can be moved very slightly from the control area outside.
  • During treatment you will not feel or see anything. The treatment unit does not touch you but it does make a buzzing noise.
  • It is important that you remain relaxed and still during treatment. Please do not move until a radiation therapist tells you treatment is complete.

Additional care during treatment

  • During a course of treatment you will have additional appointments (oncologist or registrar assessments). We endeavour to co-ordinated these with your treatment times.
  • These appointments will be on Level B1 of Lomas Building (the same level as the treatment units).
  • The department also has specialist nurses, dietitians, and other health professionals who can support you during your treatment.

Support people

  • You are welcome to bring support people with you when you come for treatment.
  • If you would like someone to accompany you into the room while you are positioned please discuss this with staff beforehand as there are certain regulations that need to be considered.