Once planning is complete, patients will receive an appointment to start treatment from the radiotherapy booking office via letter or phonecall. Patients will be given a list of further appointments on their first day of treatment and the radiographers will try to accommodate requests, however this is not always possible. Patients who require transport should let radiographers know as this takes time to organise.

First day of treatment

The first day of treatment is often the longest. Radiographers will give advice to patients about what to expect during treatment. This includes general information about delivery of treatment, management of side effects and any other information patients may require. This information and advice should be carefully followed.

The radiographer will ask patients to confirm their name, address and date of birth on each day of treatment. This is a safety requirement. For women aged between 12 and 55 the radiographer will stress the importance of not becoming pregnant during treatment and the importance of informing the medical staff of any suspected pregnancy at any stage of treatment. Patients will be asked to sign a separate form regarding this information to ensure that they fully understand it.

Patients will receive a lot of information on the first day and radiographers will be available throughout treatment to answer any questions.

Delivery of Treatment

Before each treatment, patients will be carefully positioned by the radiographer.  This may take some time but ensures that the radiation is accurately targeted. Images are routinely taken to check the patient's position is correct.

When the patient is in the correct position, the radiographers will leave the room and a buzzer will sound. This means that treatment is about to start. The radiographer will be able to hear and see the patient at all times. Patients can gain the attention of the radiographers by raising their hand only. It is very important for the patient to remain still during treatment even when it appears that nothing is happening. This is all part of the process to ensure that treatment is delivered safely and accurately. Once the treatment is complete, patients will be instructed by the radiographer when they can move again or sit up.

Patients will not see or feel anything during treatment and it is similar to having an x-ray.  Having radiotherapy treatment will not make patients radioactive because no radioactive material gets inside the body.

During Treatment

During the course of treament, patients will regularly see a doctor or a specialist radiographer. These assessments are part of the routine treatment and allows medical staff to measure progress and to refer patients to any available support services.  It also gives an opportunity for patients to ask questions.