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Verifying your Treatment

Prior to commencing a course of radiotherapy treatment we need to ensure that the radiotherapy will be going exactly where we want it to.

This is done on a machine called the simulator, shown below. As the name suggests this unit simulates the radiotherapy treatment and allows us to make final checks on the planned treatment before we deliver the high dose radiotherapy.

If you have had a CT planning scan we will ask you to lay on the simulator couch and line you up with the little tattoos we placed on you at CT. Once we are happy with your position we will retire behind a screen and take a series of images. These X-ray images will allow us to check that the radiotherapy is going to the correct place. Once we are happy we will bring the couch down and give you your start date to begin radiotherapy. This date will probably be in a few days’ time as the plan has to have a number of calculations and checks on it before it is finally ready for treatment.

If this is your first visit to see us and you have not had a CT scan the process is very similar. We will ask you to lie on our simulator couch and raise it up so you are under the head of the machine. Your consultant will have told us where they would like the radiotherapy to be delivered and we will need to expose that area so we can place some reference marks on your skin. We will then go behind a screen with the consultant and take some images to define the area to be treated.

Once this process is complete we will put some more permanent reference points on your skin, either with pens or with a small freckle like tattoo. We may also take some photographs as a record of your position.

Once this is complete we will give you your first treatment appointment. This may be in a few days’ time to allow us to complete the required calculations.