Radiation Therapy – What To Expect
Your Consultation Appointment
Your first consultation appointment will take about an hour and consists of the following steps:
- An Arizona Prostate Cancer Center staff member will talk with you about your current and past medical history, review any medications you may be taking, and answer your questions.
- A radiation oncologist will conduct a physical exam, review your medical history, x-rays, and test results and order any additional tests, if needed.
- The radiation oncologist will talk with you about how you could benefit from radiation therapy, explain the details of treatment and potential side effects and answer your questions.
- A staff member will verify your insurance information and review our financial policy with you.
Please bring these things with you to your consultation appointment:
- X-rays (CT, MRI, Bone Scan)
- List of your current medications including the name of each drug and dose
- Health insurance card or information
- An advance directive or medical power of attorney, if available
- You are encouraged to bring a family member or other support person with you to
your consultation appointment.
Fiducial Marker Placement
If you and the radiation oncologist determine that radiation therapy is the appropriate treatment, you will be scheduled to have the fiducial markers implanted into your prostate. This process is similar to the biopsy procedure that you had prior to diagnosis.
The treatment planning sessions, sometimes referred to as simulation, help the radiation oncology team determine the best set-up for the radiation beams to most effectively target the
prostate with as little radiation as possible to the healthy tissues around it. These treatment planning sessions will last approximately one hour (and are similar to having a CT scan). During this or another visit to the center, we will also provide you with an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses for your treatments at Arizona Prostate Cancer Center and answer any questions.
Beginning Your Treatment
Upon completion of treatment planning, your IMRT/IGRT prostate cancer treatment will begin. Treatments will usually take place Monday through Friday at the same appointment time each day (for approximately 2 months).