Your first visit is for a consultation with the medical team at Radiation Oncology Associates of North Jersey. A radiation oncologist, who is a physician who has been trained to use radiation therapeutically, will meet with you to review your medical history and the results of any tests that have been taken up to that point. Additional studies may be needed after this review and if so will be ordered during the consultation.
The radiation oncologist will then meet with you and your family to discuss whether radiation therapy is an option for you. After the decision is made, we will provide you with very specific instructions about the course of treatment outlined by the radiation oncologist.
We always take the time to answer any questions you might have about your cancer diagnosis and treatment options. We want you to feel comfortable with the information you receive. We encourage you to bring a family member or friend with you for your first visit and to write down any questions you have before you meet with the doctor.
Diagnostic imaging: If you have had imaging studies performed such as mammogram, CT, MRI, PET or other scans pertinent to your condition, please bring the CD, along with a written report, to your appointment.
Bloodwork reports: Bring copies of your most recent bloodwork results.
Pathology reports: If you have had an outside biopsy, bring the slides and report for our review. You can obtain them from the pathology lab where they were performed.
Pacemakers or defibrillators: If you currently have a pacemaker or defibrillator, please bring the manufacturer’s card with you at the time of your consultation.
Medications: A current list of your current medications and vitamins is essential information needed at the time of your initial assessment.
Simulation and treatment planning
After radiation therapy is chosen as the appropriate method of treatment, you will be scheduled for a treatment planning session at your next visit. When you are placed on the simulation couch, the treatment area will be identified using small permanent marks. This will assure that the same treatment area is targeted daily throughout the course of your treatment. The simulation procedure can last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the treatment plan.
Computer-based planning are standard components of the radiation planning process. This enables us to ensure the most accurate and precise creation of your individualized and customized treatment plan. We may often create a customized mold of your body at this time to ensure accurate treatment positioning for all of your treatments. This ensures accurate recreation of a radiation treatment plan that delivers maximum dose to the tumor and minimal dose to normal organ structures.
After the simulation is completed, the radiation oncologist, the dosimetrist and the medical physicist will take this information and plan the course of treatment with the aid of a treatment planning computer. All of the information gathered will be entered into the computer to assist the team in determining the optimum method of delivering your radiation treatments.