Commonly Asked Questions


What is radiation therapy?
It is the use of high energy x-rays to treat diseases. These are therapeutic x-rays which are different from diagnostic x-rays (i.e., chest x-ray).

What are the radiation treatments like?
Your will be asked to lie on a treatment table in a certain position and hold very still. The treatment machine will move to a pre-determined position, and you will not feel or see the radiation.

How long will treatment take?
The treatment takes only 15-30 minutes each day. The course of treatment is usually 5 days a week for 2 to 8 weeks.

Who will give me my treatments?
The treatments are planned by your radiation oncologist and the medical physicist, and administered by the radiation therapists.

What are the side effects?
Side effects differ depending on the area of the body treated. The most common are fatigue and skin irritation. Your doctor or nurse will discuss with you how to prevent or minimize these effects.

What things should I do during treatment?
Continue your normal lifestyle and daily activities. Eat well and get plenty of rest. Do not scrub off temporary marks placed on your skin until you are told to do so. Do not apply any salves, direct heat or cold, lotions or other self-remedies to the skin area being treated unless recommended by your doctor. 

Remember: It is important to be your own best health advocate. Follow all home care instructions you are given carefully and report any unusual symptoms to your healthcare team.