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Preparing for Your Treatment

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The process before radiation therapy starts
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Preparation for radiation therapy is a unique process for each person from diagnosis and decision making, to the planning and delivery treatment. As all body shapes and treatment needs are different, an individual plan is created just for you.
 

Deciding on Your Cancer Care Options

Deciding whether or not to have radiation therapy can be a big decision.  You may feel overwhelmed with information and advice from other people who have previously had cancer.  On the other hand, perhaps you don’t feel you have had enough information to make a decision about your cancer treatment. To help in the decision-making process, we have compiled a list of questions that you may wish to ask your Radiation Oncologist.
 
A range of information and booklets specific to different type of cancers is available from the Cancer Society.  The Cancer Society is located throughout New Zealand. To locate the Cancer Society closest to you, call their support and information line 0800 CANCER (226 237).  For privacy reasons, the Cancer Society cannot contact you, so they ask you to make the first contact.
 

First Day

On arrival to the department, you will be greeted by a receptionist who will issue you with an identification card.  Please keep this card for the duration of your treatment as the treatment staff will need to see it every day. 
 
Nursing Appointment
You will have an appointment with a specialist oncology nurse.  The nurses will complete an assessment form with you that aims to identify issues or concerns that may impact on your radiation therapy treatment.  Inform the nurse if you normally receive services such as district nursing, meals on wheels or assistance with personal care.
After the nursing appointment, you will have a CT simulation appointment.  If you are receiving superficial radiation treatment, a CT scan is not required and instead you will have an appointment with your radiation oncologist.  At this appointment, the radiation oncologist will mark the area to be treated directly on the skin.
 

Planning

Computed Tomography (CT) Simulation
In order to deliver safe and effective treatment, we create a treatment plan that is individual to you.  To create this plan, a CT scan is done.  The CT scan produces images that are used to visualise and outline the exact area to be treated and to perform dose calculations.

Computer Planning
The time between your CT scan and your first treatment is spent creating a customised radiation treatment plan.  A radiation therapist will create the treatment plan using specialised computers.  Depending on the complexity, the standard planning time frame can vary from the same day up to three weeks.
At the time of your CT scan, you will be advised of the approximate start date for your treatment. 
 
​Document Format

Most documents are available in Acrobat (PDF) format. Some documents are also available in other formats (doc, xls, html etc.) or as a printed version (hard copy). Please note, due to cost, a different format or printed version may not be available.

To request a different format or printed version, please contact the MidCentral District Health Board Communications Unit.

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