What is Treatment Like?
- The initial Radiation Oncology consult takes about two hours. The actual treatment times on the machines are about five minutes. However, you will be in the treatment room about 15 minutes each time you receive a treatment.
- The first day you will be examined by the Radiation Oncologist who will discuss your radiation treatments with you and your family.
- After seeing the Radiation Oncologist, you will be given an appointment to return for X-rays to be taken, marking the area that the Radiation Oncologist wants treated daily. This procedure is called simulation. These X-rays are for treatment purposes only, not for diagnosing any other problem. Often, CT (computer tomography) is used with simulation to help with treatment planning.
- Daily treatment times will be set up with you by the Radiation Therapist. The Therapist will work with you to schedule a time most suitable to your needs. You will keep the same time every day, Monday through Friday (not Saturday or Sunday) until you complete your treatments. If you need to change your appointment for a single occasion, please let the Therapist know, and your time will be changed for that particular day.
- For any lab or X-ray requisitions, appointments or follow-up visits, please report to the front desk.
- You may eat or drink before or after your treatments.
- A multi-vitamin may be taken during treatments.
- You will see your Radiation Therapist every day. The Radiation Oncologist, who is in the department daily, will see you as needed to check your treatment progress. If you have any problems, tell the Therapist. If necessary, the Therapist will have the Radiation Oncologist see you.
- For any emergency after hours or on the weekends, call the Lexington Medical Center Operator at (803) 791-2000. The Radiation Therapist will return your call.
- After your treatments are completed, you will be scheduled for a check-up with the Radiation Oncologist.
External Therapy Treatment
Most radiation treatments are given during outpatient visits to the hospital. In external therapy, a machine directs the high-energy rays to the specific site and some of the tissue around it.
IMRT can more accurately target tumors.
LMC has a high-resolution radiotherapy system called Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), which combines sophisticated software and hardware to more accurately target tumors, map out the degree of radiation and assign each of its 120 collimator leaves the proper position and exposure.
Highly Advanced Technology
This highly advanced technology means that our expert clinicians can escalate the dose of cancer-killing irradiation to tumors with minimal exposure and complications to surrounding healthy tissue.
Brachytherapy is internal therapy.
For most patients having internal therapy, a small capsule of radioactive material (implant) is placed inside a body cavity or directly into the site in a process known as brachytherapy.
The tumor receives a high dose of radiation.
This allows the tumor to receive a high dose while keeping the dose low to the surrounding tissues. Brachytherapy has been in use for over a hundred years and has been used to cure cancer for 90 years. It can be used alone or in combination with external beam irradiation.
The Radiation Therapist monitors your reactions.
Throughout any radiation therapy, your responses and reactions will be closely monitored by the Radiation Therapist. Any side effects should be discussed with your Radiation Oncologist so that discomfort can be mediated and managed as effectively as possible.