Radiation therapy is a noninvasive form of cancer treatment that is generally well tolerated by most patients. Depending on the cancer diagnosis and the location of the tumor, a radiation oncologist will recommend a daily dose to be administered Monday through Friday, using 3D-CRT, IMRT, SRS or proton treatments.
The first step for patients is a radiation planning scan, also known as a simulation CT scan, usually one to two weeks before starting radiation. The purpose of this CT scan is to make sure your entire body remains in the same position for every treatment, so the radiation is delivered accurately. While you are lying flat, a radiation therapist will make a mask with holes, ensuring that you can breathe and see, that locks into the treatment table to keep your body or head immobilized.
Depending on the complexity of the radiation plan, the actual treatments may last anywhere from 10 to45 minutes per session.