Patient Tour


Patients are generally referred for Radiation Oncology evaluation by their medical oncologist, surgeon or personal physician. Self referrals are also accepted, and are often done for purposes of obtaining a second opinion.

The process starts with a telephone interview with the Oncology Center office staff to obtain the necessary medical records and insurance information. Our group participates in Medicare as well as most HMO and PPO providers. Our Billing Office is available to assist patients with insurance and financial issues.

Patients will be asked to fill out a detailed medical information questionnaire about their current problem as well as past medical history. This information is necessary to assist the physicians in developing a personalized treatment plan for each patient.

Patient Tour

A consult will be arranged...

A consult will be arranged, and the patient and family will meet with the Radiation Oncologist. At this time a history will be taken and a physical examination will be done. Pertinent x-rays and scans will be reviewed. Discussions may take place between the physicians involved in the care of the patient. A plan of action will be made and discussed with the patient and family. Questions are encouraged and every attempt is made to make sure all issues are addressed. The reasons behind treatment recommendations as well as potential side effects and risks of treatment will be discussed in detail. Consideration may be given in certain circumstances to participation in a Clinical Trial

A consult will be arranged...

Should radiation therapy be recommended...

Should radiation therapy be recommended the next step is to plan the treatment. This generally involves another visit to the office for Simulation. This may be done on a simulator machine or on a CT scanner. The purpose of this is to position the patient relative to the treatment beam in a reproducible manner and to place marks on the patient to assist the treatment staff in delivering the treatment on a daily basis. Some patients will require special immobilization devices. Temporary marks may be placed on the patient’s skin at the completion of this procedure. This procedure usually takes 20 to 60 minutes.

Should radiation therapy be recommended...

A few days are generally necessary...

A few days are generally necessary to plan out the treatment and to construct individualized blocks. These blocks are made of a high density metal and allow for the shape of the radiation beam to be tailored to the needs of the individual patient. The dose of radiation necessary for optimal treatment of the malignancy will be determined and calculated by the Physics Staff at this time. 
After completion of the above, the patient will return to start the treatment. At this appointment the planned radiation treatment fields (areas) will be set up on the patient. A simulation will be done on either the Simulator or on the actual treatment machine or on both. 
 
After successful localization of the treatment fields and approval from the Radiation Oncologist the location of each field will be marked on the patient’s skin, usually with several small permanent tattoos. This process may take 30 to 60 minutes, and will generally occur later in the day.

A few days are generally necessary...

From then on the patient will return...

From then on the patient will return on a daily basis (occasionally twice per day) at a set time. Treatment should take 5 to 15 minutes. Patients will generally visit with their physician weekly to check on their progress and to monitor the effects of treatment.
The duration of treatment courses varies with the situation and is individualized for patients depending on their disease, the intent of treatment and on the patient’s medical status. Treatment courses can be as short as a single treatment or as long as 8 to 9 weeks.

From then on the patient will return...

After completion of treatment...

After completion of treatment an appointment will be made for a follow up evaluation with the Radiation Oncologist, usually one month after the end of the therapy. At this time the status of the patient will be ascertained, and further visits will be arranged as necessary in conjunction with other physicians involved in the care of the patient.

After completion of treatment...