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CT Planning Scan

As part of the radiotherapy planning process you may be required to have a CT scan.

If this is the case you will be given an appointment to attend the Radiotherapy Department a few weeks before your radiotherapy treatment begins.

The CT scan provides us with a lot of the information we require to plan your radiotherapy accurately. For example, by taking a scan we can see the position and size of the tumour we need to treat. It gives us an exact contour of your body so we can plan your treatment accurately. It also allows both us and you to find a comfortable treatment position that you can maintain throughout your subsequent radiotherapy treatments.

The CT scan will involve you lying on a couch top with the area we are planning to treat exposed. The radiographers will move the couch up and place some markers on your skin.

These markers will show up on the scan as bright white dots. They are used as reference points throughout the radiotherapy planning and treatment process to ensure that you are in the same position for each treatment you have with us.

Depending on where we are scanning, we might wish to inject some dye which will help to highlight the areas we need to treat.

Once we are happy with your position we will move the couch up and through the main CT ring. This looks a bit like a big doughnut! At this point we will leave the room and the scan will begin. The scan takes no more than five minutes, and you will feel nothing at all. We are watching you all the time and can talk to you on an intercom system if you wish.

Once the scan is complete we will come back into the room and bring the couch down. At this point we would like to tattoo you where the little markers have been placed. This ensures that we have an accurate recording of the reference points so that we can reproduce your position each time you visit us. The tattoos look like little black freckles. They are no more than one or two millimetres wide.

The appointment should take no more than 15 minutes.