- A Checklist To Consider If You Are Going To Have Radiation Therapy
- The External Beam Radiation Team
- The Setting In Which EBRT Is Given
- What Happens During A Planning Session Before Your First Radiation Treatment
- What Happens During An EBRT Treatment
- Side Effects From External Radiation: During Treatment
Rectal/Colon Cancer: Before Start of External Beam Radiation Treatment (EBRT)
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS, SEE THE OTHER SECTIONS OF THIS DOCUMENT
While waiting for External Beam Radiation Treatment (EBRT) to begin, there are steps to take. For instance, see your dentist. Talk with your doctor about the drugs, vitamins etc you take in case he or she wants you to stop taking them temporarily. (We provide a check list).
Before your first session, there will be a planning session during which the precise details of your treatment are set. It is advisable to take a family member or friend with you to the meeting. It is also helpful to record the session.
It helps to learn who the members of the EBRT team are, and what each member does.
During the first and subsequent sessions, wear clothing that goes on and off easily and has no metal. Ask your radiologist whether you can eat and drink before a treatment.
Side effects such as skin irritation and fatigue during treatment are either controllable or there are techniques to lessen the effect. There may also be long term side effects.
Keep in mind that treatment decisions may change as treatment goes along. A change does not mean that the original treatment was wrong. Medicine is a combination of science and art.
There are do's, don'ts and tips to be aware of during treatment. For example,
- Don't apply powder or lotion to the radiated area before treatment.
- Do speak with your radiologist about what to do if you have to miss a day or two. The efficiency of the treatment depends on having as few delays as possible.
- If needed, transportation is available to and from treatment.
- Call the treatment center before leaving for a treatment to find out if appointments are on time. Radiation therapy machines must be taken offline periodically to recalibrate the machine or for repair.
Women: Avoid getting pregnant during radiation treatment.
NOTE: Do not be surprised if the start of radiation brings up strong emotions. To help cope with them, see the documents in "To Learn More."