Radiology 101

Hola! I saw the radiologist last Wednesday and got the general plan I go in next Tuesday and get mapped. This is generally what will happen:

My doctor will precisely identify the area on my body where I will receive radiation. Pictures will be taken of the area that needs to be treated. Those images are sent to the radiation planning computer, which will help set up the general treatment fields (the areas that get the radiation).

Once the treatment fields are set, the radiation oncologist will mark the corners of the fields with small tattoos or a special pen (markings are usually no bigger than the head of a pin or a freckle). The marking is a guide to help the technician line up the radiation treatment fields the same way each time you receive treatment.

Most cancer centers recommend that people have tattoo markings for radiation therapy rather than ink markings, because the ink can fade or wash off. While tattoos can be removed after treatment is over, they are also preferred over ink markings made with a pen because are that they permanently mark the area of the original treatment field in case radiation is needed in the future.

After the simulation is done, the dose of radiation I’ll receive is calculated, and my radiation treatment is designed over the next few days. As of now, we are thinking 5 days a week, 6 weeks. Good times being had by one and all.

I will post after first session, to update. Meanwhile, we saw 1917 today and it was a brilliant movie. Go see it if you can.

2 thoughts on “Radiology 101

  1. Hi Deb,
    Glad you are past surgery and into radiation. They will still draw all over you with marker, even when you get the tatoo. I have the tatoo, just a tiny dot. Radiation is exhausting but you’ll get through it. All the best- keep fighting!


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