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The CHEM Center for Radiation Oncology - About Your Therapy

When you arrive, check in with the receptionist. A secretary from the front office will register you. The radiation oncologist will review any medical information or x-rays you bring with you before meeting you. A nurse and radiation oncologist will discuss your general health and current health problems.

The radiation oncologist will discuss the treatment with you including what effect you might expect from the treatments. A family member(s) or close friend may be present during this discussion and at all discussions with physicians.

If you are to receive therapy, you will receive a booklet that explains the process. This information is also available at this web site in the "what to expect" section of the site.

Referral Process

Typically, a patient is referred to the CHEM Center by a primary care physician, surgeon, oncologist, or other specialist. Patients who have been told by their physician that radiation oncology is indicated and want to know more about the CHEM Center, should call our business office ( 781 279-0655) and ask for further information.

Before Your First Visit

If you are scheduled to be seen in consult at the Center, please remember to bring any films or medical records that have been requested by the Center when they confirmed your appointment. Please feel free to call us to ask questions about referral authorizations or other information prior to your visit

What to Expect

First Day

When you arrive, check in with the receptionist. A secretary from the front office will register you. The radiation oncologist will review any medical information or x-rays you bring with you before meeting you. A nurse and radiation oncologist will discuss your general health and current health problems.

Consult

The radiation oncologist will discuss the treatment with you including what effect you might expect from the treatments. A family member(s) or close friend may be present during this discussion and at all discussions with physicians.

Simulation

Before beginning treatment, the area to be treated is simulated in order to ensure the radiation treatments will be accurately administered.

The procedure involves having your radiation oncologist and technologist take some diagnostic-quality x-rays of the area and having some marks placed on the skin with a marker. The lines are temporary and will wash off. Some pinpoint black dots, made with indelible ink are placed at the corners of the treatment area. These are permanent and look like small freckles.

Simulation can take as long as 2 hours or as little as ½ hour. After your simulation is completed, a medical physicist or dosimetrist, with the aid of a computer calculates the proper radiation dosage.

Treatment

Please check in with the receptionist upon arrival. You will be asked to be seated in the main waiting area and a therapist will call for you when it is your turn.

Depending on the area being treated, the therapist may ask you to put on a gown and wait in the gowned waiting area. You will be escorted to the therapy machine by a therapist.

We request that relatives or friends accompanying you stay in the main waiting area, unless you require assistance in changing your clothes. This is to ensure other patients’ privacy. We welcome family and close friends, and will be glad to include them in your discussions with the radiation oncologist and nurse, at your request.

Treatments take only a few minutes per day. They are usually given five days a week for two to seven weeks. This schedule helps protect healthy body tissue by spreading out the total does of radiation. Your radiation oncologist will determine the total number of treatments you will need.

On-Treatment Visit

Each week your radiation oncologist will meet with you to discuss your progress. This visit takes place after your treatment. The therapist will remind you not to get dressed until after you have seen the doctor.

A physical exam appropriate to your case will be done. This is a good time to get answers to any questions that you or your family may have.

During your course of treatment we will ask you to get a blood test once or twice to monitor your bloods response to the radiation therapy. This can be done at the location of your choice. The nurse will give you a requisition.

Follow-up

Upon completion of your treatments you will be given an appointment to return for a check-up with your radiation oncologist. This usually takes place in one month. Follow-up visits are important in helping us observe your progress. They keep you and your primary physician informed on how you have responded to treatment.

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