Seeing as most people picture giant mushroom clouds or disasters at the mere mention of the word, it seems a very strange concept that radiation can be used as a life giving treatment for cancer.
However, the cell nuking capability of radiation treatment makes it an effective treatment for destroying rogue cells in a targeted way. There’s lot of planning and science that goes into radiation treatment – quite necessary seeing as they’re nuking all cells, good and bad, in the area where the cancer has been hanging out.
You’ll probably meet your Radiation Oncologist quite a while before your treatment starts so firstly, they can explain all the risks and benefits associated with treatment and secondly agree on your treatment plan and answer any questions you may have.
A radiation planning appointment will then follow where you have yet another scan – this time a CT scan (without the IV dye) to measure you up precisely. You’ll also have the privilege of getting three new tattoos to help them line you up correctly during treatment. Not to worry they never seem to offer sailors anchors or the LOVE/HATE combo, instead opting for the regulation little black dots like freckles that the nurses will do themselves (no need for hairy biker tattooists on standby).
You’ll also now be advised of your first appointment date which will probably be a week or two after the measurements are taken. This enables the team to work out all the complicated maths so that they only nuke the area requiring treatment with the necessary amount or radiation to be effective. Treatments are usually given only on weekdays and in 3 or 5 week blocks but it all depends upon your particular case.