Welcome to the Department of Radiation Oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital


– Hello. I’m Dr. Peter Glazer, Chairman of the Department
of Radiation Oncology. I wanna wanna welcome you and thank you for choosing Smilow Radiation Oncology for your radiation therapy care. This video is designed to provide you with a brief overview of the process and what to expect during your
radiation therapy treatments. We have locations in New Haven, Guilford, New London, Hamden and Trumbull. We take great pride in providing the most advanced technologies,
giving our physicians the very best tools to fight your cancer. We have the top radiation
oncologists in the region who practice evidence
based academic medicine and who have the expertise to fully utilize our
advanced technologies. In addition to our
physicians, we have a team that includes nurses,
therapists, dosimetrists, physicists, dieticians, social workers and spiritual services. We all work together to
provide you and your family with comprehensive, safe
and effective treatment, designed specifically for you. Our goal is to provide you with the best experience possible. – [Woman] There are four steps in the radiation therapy process; consultation, simulation,
treatment planning and treatment. The first step in the process
is a consultation visit. A consultation is your first appointment, where we discuss your
diagnosis and treatment options so you can make an informed decision about radiation being the right
course of treatment for you. Your consultation takes
place with your physician, also called the radiation oncologist and other members of your healthcare team. A family member or friend is welcome to attend this visit with you. This initial consultation appointment can take from one to two hours, depending upon your individual needs. During your consultation visit, you can expect the following: your vital signs will be taken; your medications, medical
and surgical history will be reviewed. This may have been done at other offices, but it’s important for us to be sure your information is
complete and up to date. Your radiation oncologist will conduct a physical examination to asses your cancer related
symptoms and general health. There will be time to ask any questions, but it may be helpful to come prepared with questions to your appointment. If you decide to move forward
with radiation treatment, you will be asked to
sign an informed consent stating that the possible side effects and benefits of treatment
have been reviewed and that your questions
have been answered. The radiation oncology nurse
works closely with the doctor and other members of your healthcare team to provide education about radiation, to help manage any possible
side effects of the treatment and to help coordinate your overall care. You will meet with your
radiation oncology nurse weekly, during your treatment. If you have any questions at any time we encourage you to ask your doctor or any member of our
radiation oncology team. The second step in the
process is simulation. Before your radiation treatments begin, you will have a simulation appointment. Simulation uses a CT scan of the area of the body to be treated, so that your radiation
oncologist and radiation team can develop a precise treatment plan individualized just for you. During your simulation visit,
you can expect the following. For safety, we will check your
identity using a wristband and also take a face photo that will be attached to your
electronic medical chart. Before the CT scan is done,
we will also verify with you the specific area of
your body to be scanned. The first step of the simulation involves laying your body in a
position that can be recreated each and every time you are treated. Positioning is very important
in radiation oncology. The goal is to get you in the
best position for treatment while providing as much
comfort as possible. We will use soft Velcro
straps for your safety. Various custom positioning
aids may be created during the simulation to ensure accuracy and to aid in the planning
of your treatment course. During the simulation,
the radiation therapist, radiation oncologist and other members of your healthcare team will move between the simulation room and the
simulation control room, working on your treatment plan. Once in position, we will
mark the area of interest designated by your radiation oncologist. The mark will be our reference
point for future treatment. These marks are used
daily to align your body to the same position that you
were in for the simulation. We use either permanent
marker or small tattoos, no bigger than a freckle. One of the last steps in simulation will be taking photos of those
marks and the treatment area, so they can be referenced by the therapist that will be treating you daily. These images are then loaded into your electronic medical record for use at each of your treatment visits. At the end of the simulation, your treatment appointment
schedule will be given to you. Your radiation oncologist
determines when you start, but we always take into consideration your preference for time as
well as other appointments such as chemotherapy. The entire simulation process
takes 45 to 60 minutes. The third step in the
radiation therapy process is treatment planning. The treatment planning process
is highly personalized. Our medical dosimetrists
have a thorough knowledge of radiation oncology and medical physics. We use this knowledge to design
radiation treatment plans according to the radiation
oncologist prescription. Before you start your treatment, your radiation oncology team
spends many hours or days collaborating on your
specific treatment plan. The treatment planning process is complex and can generally take
many days to complete. This time and attention to detail, along with many quality assurance checks by medical physicists,
ensures that your treatments are safe, individualized
and of the highest quality. You are now ready for your treatment, the final step in the process. When it’s time for you
to start your treatment, you will meet your radiation therapist who will guide you and explain
the daily treatment process. Radiation therapists are trained, licensed health professionals who work within your
radiation oncology care team. They operate the treatment machines and deliver your radiation treatment as prescribed by your
radiation oncologist. During your treatment, you
can expect the following. For safety, each day, before
you receive your treatment, we will identify you by giving you a wristband with your
name and date of birth and compare your photo, that
was taken during simulation. Each day the radiation
therapist will position you on using the marks placed on your body or positioning device created
during the simulation. This ensures you are in the
correct treatment position. We will use soft Velcro
straps for your safety. The radiation therapist
will leave the room and ask you to remain still. During this time, your radiation team is confirming your treatment plan and correct positioning, using x-rays. Your therapist can see
and hear you at all times. Daily treatments typically
take 15 to 30 minutes, but in some cases it
may take up to an hour. The longest part of your
time in the treatment room is the positioning process. Once you are in the
correct treatment position, the therapist will step out of the room, the door will close and
your treatment will begin. The door must remain closed for safety, during your treatments. You will hear and see the machine as it rotates around you, delivering the prescribed treatment, but you will not feel anything, similar to other types of procedures you may have had previously, such as a CT scan or dental x-rays. While outside of the room,
the radiation therapist will constantly be monitoring you through audio and video equipment. The radiation treatments you will receive will not make you radioactive at any time and you will be safe to carry
on regular daily activities, unless otherwise
instructed by your doctor. Depending on how many treatments your radiation oncologist prescribes, you may see your radiation therapist from a short as a few
days to several weeks. As always, we encourage
you and your family to ask questions at any time. – We hope that you
found this video helpful in answering your
questions and preparing you for what to expect during your
radiation therapy treatments. We understand that this is a
sensitive and challenging time for you and your family and you can trust that we will do everything possible to keep you safe and comfortable
during your treatments. We want to thank you for choosing
Smilow Radiation Oncology for your radiation therapy and we look forward to
being a part of your care.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the Department of Radiation Oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital

  1. Please, please turn down the volume of the music track (or off completely) – way too loud, hard to hear the speaker, very very annoying/distracting/unnecessary.

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