Typically, radiation treatments occur daily, five days per week, with individual treatments lasting only a few minutes each. In fact, patients are usually in and out of the department within 30 minutes. Depending on your disease and the treatment course your physician selects, radiation therapy may continue for a period of anywhere from one to eight weeks.
You will have weekly appointments with your radiation oncologist during treatment. In addition, you'll be monitored daily by the radiation therapists who administer your radiation treatments. Specially trained nurses in the Radiation Oncology Department are also available to help manage your needs and to answer any treatment-related questions you may have.
It is important for you to attempt to make all of your scheduled radiation therapy appointments. If there is severe weather (i.e., snowstorm) on the day of a scheduled appointment, please call the Radiation Oncology Department (781-744-8780) if you would like to discuss rescheduling. For each appointment you miss within your prescribed treatment course, one day will be added to your treatment plan.
Most patients are able to drive after receiving radiation therapy, throughout the course of treatment. However, driving may not be recommended for patients with certain types of cancer, as their fatigue and strong pain medications may impair their driving capabilities. Your radiation oncologist will be able to talk with you about whether or not you should be driving while undergoing treatment.
Reserved parking is available to Lahey's radiation therapy patients outside the Trump Building, which is an extension of the main hospital building. If you park in the main garage of the hospital and enter the 4th Floor Main Entrance, take the west elevators down to the 2nd Floor and follow the signs for the Trump Building. Parking is validated by the front desk staff after each patient visit.
The majority of patients see their radiation oncologist for an extended period following the completion of radiation therapy treatment. Your radiation oncologist, in collaboration with other cancer specialists, will determine the appropriate follow-up schedule for you. Your follow-up at Lahey may occur in a multidisciplinary setting, including appointments with physicians from several medical specialties.