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.
With the planning complete and the course of therapy determined, you will be treated on the linear accelerator. This machine uses high-energy photons and/or electrons to destroy the tumor with minimal effects on the area surrounding the tumor. You will lie on a procedure couch during your therapy, each treatment generally lasts only a couple of minutes. Treatments are usually given daily over a period of two to eight weeks.
Treatments are usually given each day of the week. In most cases, you will be treated at the same time every day. Occasionally, scheduling conflicts arise and your appointment time may have to be changed or delayed.
During your course of treatment, the radiation oncologist will examine you every week to insure that everything is proceeding as planned. You will also be monitored daily by a radiation therapist or radiation oncology nurse, dietitian, and social worker. Your referring physician will be kept informed about your progress during treatment.
Occasionally, you may also need further diagnostic tests to monitor your response to the treatments. Treatments take place at Morristown Medical Center, Chilton Medical Center or Hackettstown Medical Center.
The medical team at Radiation Oncology Associates of North Jersey often collaborate with medical profiessionals at each hospital to complement your treatment, including:
- Nurses certified in oncology
- Licensed oncology social workers
- Nutritionists certified in oncology
- Speech and swallowing therapists
End of treatment
Once you have completed your treatments, you will be given a follow-up appointment to return to see the radiation oncologist. The physician may choose to continue to monitor you periodically following your therapy. Symbolizing that patients are one step closer to remission, we invite patients to hit our "ritual gong," which can be used during anytime of their treatments: after each chemotherapy session, completion of radiation or weekly appointments.
Experts agree that the atmosphere and environment in which patients are treated can be instrumental in the healing process. Some of our offices offer amenities such as artwork awash in natural light, abstract mobiles and tranquil indoor and outdoor gardens to positively impact a patient’s outlook. Incorporated throughout our offices are plant life, inviting spaces, atriums and commissioned artwork. Dressing suites with private storage lockers, a separate waiting area for inpatients, and patient and family consultation are also provided.
Research and Clinical Trials
Our team at Radiation Oncology Associates of North Jersey not only provides excellent medical care, but also remains active in clinical research trials from which our current and future patients may benefit, as well as in the education of medical students and residents. Our participation in clinical trials, including studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, has helped expand treatment options for patients dealing with cancer.
Radiation Oncology Associates of North Jersey Locations
651 Willow Grove Street
Joan Knechel Cancer Center - Hackettstown Medical Center
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
8:00am to 3:45pm
100 Madison Avenue
Carol G. Simon Cancer Center - Morristown Medical Center
Morristown, NJ 07960
8:00am to 4:00pm
97 West Parkway
Collins Pavilion - Chilton Medical Center
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
8:00am to 3:30pm