A few days before your first session, you will have a scan to create a 3-D image of your body. Small marks are made on your body to identify the treatment areas.
Specialists will review images and plan where and how the radiation will be delivered. This important step ensures the radiation is concentrated on the cancerous area and affects the surrounding cells as little as possible.
The first couple of sessions may require an hour or more. Later appointments will last about 30 minutes.
After changing into a special gown, you will lie on the treatment table.
The therapist will align the accelerator to ensure precise treatment and leave the room prior to each treatment. Therapists continuously monitor the treatment by video and audio connections. You may talk to therapists at all times.
The radiation is delivered in just minutes. You may sense movement and hear the machine humming during treatment.
When the treatment is complete, you will continue your day and return the next day for another equal dose of radiation.
Radiation therapy is delivered one day at a time, minimizing side effects and allowing affected normal cells time to repair themselves.