Before treatment

Before treatment

Appointments

Before attending for radiotherapy you will receive your appointments by post.  Please make sure we have your correct correspondence address.

If you have any questions regarding your appointments, please contact the booking team on 01483 571122 ext 6632/2570.


Booking in

You will have been asked to attend the St. Luke’s radiotherapy department at either the Royal Surrey Hospital or the East Surrey Hospital.  Please bring your appointment letter with you and show it to the reception staff when you arrive in the department.

The reception staff will show you how to use our self check-in service.

You will then be directed to a waiting area.  A member of the radiotherapy team will then come to talk to you.

Any specific instructions you need to follow will be detailed in your appointment letter.  Please read this letter carefully.


During Radiotherapy

We aim to see everyone in time order.  Whilst you are waiting for your treatment, it may appear that some patients are seen before you.  This could be for a number of reasons:

  • Some patients have specific preparation to do in order for their treatment to be more accurate and have to be treated within a certain time.
  • Some patients are having Chemo-radiotherapy and have to be treated within a specific time.
  • Some patients are emergency cases and are planned and treated on the same day.

While we make every effort to see patients on time, occasionally unavoidable delays occur.  We will do our best to inform you if there are any delays.

Mould Room & CT Scanning

Before your treatment commences, we will ask you to attend the radiotherapy department for a pre-treatment appointment.  This will be in the CT (Computed Tomography) Scanner or Mould Room.

These appointments allow us to gain important information that will be used to plan your treatment, and to decide on the best way to position you for your treatment.  These appointments usually take a little longer than a treatment appointment.

If the treatment you are having requires special preparation, this will be discussed during your pre- treatment appointment.  Depending on the area we are treating, you may receive additional instructions in the post with your appointment letter.  If you haven’t been given any instructions, don’t worry – it means you don’t need them.

When you arrive in the department, report to the radiotherapy reception.  A radiographer, will show you to somewhere more private and explain the procedure to be carried out. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.  It may help if you come with a list of questions that you have thought about at home.

You will be asked to confirm that you are still willing to proceed with radiotherapy.  If you have any queries or concerns about consenting to treatment a doctor will come to discuss them further.

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown or your own if you wish to bring one with you.

At the time of your scan, tiny permanent dots (tattoos) will be put on your skin.  This will help with replicating your treatment position later.

If you have a pacemaker, please inform a Radiographer when you arrive so that we can ensure the necessary arrangements have been made. 

Female patients may be asked if they are pregnant.  If you suspect you may be pregnant, please inform a Radiographer as soon as you arrive.

Once you have had your CT planning scan you can go home.  We will be using the data we have gathered to produce a treatment plan specifically for you.  You should expect to wait approximately 10-14 days between your planning scan and the start of treatment.


Fiducial clinic

Some men who are having their prostate treated, may be required to have fiducial markers inserted.

The prostate is an organ which can move slightly when you breathe or in relation to the changes within your bowel and bladder.  To help us identify the prostate whilst planning your treatment, and each day before we give you your radiotherapy, a specialist radiographer or doctor will place gold fiducial markers into the prostate gland.   This is usually done 7 days before your CT scan.

The markers are used as a guide to make sure that each beam is just applied to your prostate.  This will reduce the risk of side effects and damage to surrounding organs.

These gold markers are permanent but you will not be aware of them, and they will cause no harm.

Private patients

The radiotherapy department at St. Luke’s Cancer Centre treats a mixture of both NHS and privately referred patients. Referrals for a private consultation are made in the same way but your GP or hospital Consultant should highlight that you wish to be treated as a private patient. You will then receive an appointment to see one of our consultant clinical oncologists. This appointment may not take place at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

If you are attending the St Luke’s Cancer Centre for the first time, please make your way to the Level A reception desk where you will be greeted by one of the receptionists. The receptionist will register your arrival and direct you to the waiting area.

Whilst we make every effort to see patients on time, occasionally unavoidable delays occur. We will do our best to inform you if there are delays.

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