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What to Expect during Radiation Therapy

What to Expect during Radiation Treatment at Swedish Medical Center

Creating Your Treatment Plan

At the Swedish Cancer Care Center, we believe in coordinated care. That's why our multidisciplinary team meets weekly to discuss all patient cases in detail. This way, we can ensure that you are receiving the best, most appropriate care possible. Our radiation oncologists are active participants in this meeting and will talk to your other doctors to coordinate your treatment plan.

Scheduling an Appointment

When the time comes for you to schedule an appointment with the radiation oncology program, simply contact us at (303) 788-5860.

Your Team

Your radiation oncology team consists of a nurse, a dosimetrist (a specialist dedicated to the physics of the equipment), a radiation therapist and a radiation oncologist.

Your First Appointment

Prior to your first therapy at the Swedish Cancer Care Center Radiation Oncology Department, you will have an appointment with the radiation oncologist to discuss your treatment. He/she also will help you through a simulation process that will help determine exactly where the therapy will be administered.

Your Radiation Therapy

While the treatment itself may only take a few minutes, plan to be at the Swedish Cancer Care Center for at least 30 minutes for your therapy appointments.

To begin your therapy, the radiation therapist will position you on a treatment table or chair and then leave the room. He/she will go into a control room where there is a television monitor that allows him/her to see you. Your therapist can also hear you, so if you feel uncomfortable, just speak up! It is very important to lie completely still during the treatment, which usually lasts about one to five minutes and is painless. After the therapy is complete, you can leave and resume normal activity. You will not be radioactive or dangerous to anyone around you.

Your Care Plan

Most of our therapies last between two and eight weeks, during which you undergo treatment once daily, five days a week. However, this schedule varies with different treatments. Your radiation oncologist will go over your schedule with you during your initial appointment. During treatment, your oncologist will want to see you at least once a week. After treatment is complete, you will be scheduled for regular visits to check your progress and look for signs of disease. Your doctor will discuss follow-up care with you. It may consist of additional testing, medication or treatment.