What is it and what happens afterwards?
Preparation for Radiation:
First you will meet with your radiation oncologist to talk about the treatment that is best for you. You will also meet the radiation nurse (a nurse who is trained to support you and help you understand about your cancer and treatment) at that time.
You will then go to the cancer center for simulation. This is a time set aside to help you get ready for the treatment. Here's what will happen:
à A radiation therapist (a health care professional who helps plan and deliver the radiation treatments) works with the radiation oncologist to take x-rays or a CT scan of the part of your body that will be treated with radiation. You may be given an appointment for a CT scan before your simulation day.
à The radiation therapist may need to use special equipment that will keep you still for your treatments. Some example are: plastic cast for your head and neck, or a body mold to help position your arms or legs.
à The radiation therapist will place marks on your skin. These marks help to position you for your simulation and treatment. These marks may be ink or they may be small permanent tattoos.
When Curtis had his simulation he was marked with ink as well as permanent tattoos. The tattoos were small dark black specks on the sides of his legs/hips, one might not even notice them at a glance. He was also marked with purple ink and when it would wear/wash off they would mark it again. They had like little road maps/ transparencies of everything. They also made translucent jelly-like forms that were placed around his pubic area during radiation.