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Radiation Therapy Treatment Process


Generally, your first Radiation appointment at the Centre will be the lengthiest. Known as the “planning appointment”, this visit generally takes 1 to 3 hours to complete. This appointment allows your Radiation Oncologist and Radiation Therapist to accurately determine the treatment area through the use of a CT Simulator.

Depending on the type of treatment and the area being treated, specific preparation may be required prior to undergoing the CT scan. Your radiation oncologist and therapist will discuss this with you either during your first visit or prior to your arrival for your CT scan.



Once the treatment area is identified, marks will be placed on your skin. As these marks can wash off, it is necessary to give you very tiny permanent tattoo marks using a fine needle. These permanent marks will allow the therapists to reproduce the same set-up position from the CT scan to your treatment (s). The Radiation Therapist will further explain this procedure to you prior to your scan.

Your healthcare team will use the information captured during the CT scanning process to design a plan that is tailored for you. Following this appointment, you will be contacted with the date and time of your first Radiation Treatment appointment. It generally takes anywhere from 3 days to 1 week from your CT scan to the start date of treatment.



Your first day:

When you arrive for your first treatment, check in with the reception desk on the ground floor and have a seat in the waiting area. A Radiation Therapist will escort you from the waiting area into a private room to discuss your treatment and answer any questions you may have.


Your first Radiation Treatment appointment is typically the longest, lasting about 20 - 45 minutes (depending on your type of treatment). Radiation therapists will use any tattoos placed on your body during the CT simulation process, along with specialized lasers in the treatment room to ensure you are positioned correctly for treatment.

Radiation Therapists will check all details of the treatment plan with specialized imaging equipment that are attached to the treatment machine. These imaging techniques are critical in verifying the treatment area prior to delivering any radiation treatment.

Day 2 and onwards:

Subsequent appointments are usually 15 - 30 minutes. The actual duration of your daily treatment depends on the radiation dosage and your treatment plan. The treatment beam is usually turned on for a short period of this time. The bulk of the treatment time is spent positioning you in the treatment room and verifying the treatment area with our imaging techniques.


Please feel free to bring any music CD for your listening pleasure during your treatments. 


Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
Copyright © 2012 Southlake Regional Health Centre