Radiotherapy

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Can anyone tell me how long radiotherapy session takes?

  • Hi  It’s hard to put a definitive time on it. The actual ‘zapping’ takes maybe 10 minutes but you have to wait for your turn on the machine - sometimes machines breakdown so there can be a backlog - then you have to get changed into a gown, then they make sure you’re correctly positioned for the machine by lining up the little tattooed dots - then they do the zapping and then you go and get back dressed again. 
    I asked to be given the earliest appointment in a bid to avoid any backlog but then it can involve travelling in rush hour? 
    Hope his appointment goes well tomorrow - pleaee keep us posted?

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Rosie, depends on how many people are booked in, how many get kicked out of their treatment to try and pee more, or try and drink more or fart more etc.  How many machines are out of action etc. 


    I did the 25 days of chemo radiotherapy.  Only once was I seen within an hour of my appointment time - the rest were a lot longer.     The actual zap takes about 7 mins, as long as the fire alarm doesn't go off.  But that is another story.  You will get to know where the machine is on your particular plan.  I used to count how many songs I could hear to give me an idea of time.


    Staff are brilliant. If you are on chemo radiotherapy, then you will have weekly bloods and catch ups, so staff will use any delay time to do those with you.

    You will get into the swing of things.  You will have to hang around unless your centre has masses of machines. Only 3 where I was and one of those was always out of action.

    I only had issues that delayed me twice. Once an over full bladder, once too much gas.    Just don't eat fibre for the week  - to reduce gas.  Drink the amount of  recommended water and hang on to it. 

    Much harder for the men doing the prostrate thing. 

    There can be much banter to be had in the waiting room if you are up for that.  I'm still in touch with fellow RT crew as we were able to have a giggle with who got kicked out and for what. 

    Hope all goes well.

  • How soon after getting treatment plan does treatment start?

  •   Mine started 2 weeks after my meeting but hopefully they’ll be able to give your son an idea at his meeting today x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • I think I had my first session with the RT team to 'mark me up' and run a planning scan about 2 weeks after seeing my oncologist with my plan. 

    Don't eat fibre for a few days before the planning scan as gas meant me having to repeat this appointment and if only someone had said! I'd also have taken some windeeze - anything to prevent the delay, the waste of resources and my having to travel an hour each way.  

    The planning scan goes to an expert to work out the RT mapping.  The level of accuracy is astounding.

    I think my actual RT started 2 weeks after that.   Appoinments for each week were only given out on the Friday of the week before, so planning was a bit hard. 

    It's going to vary from place to place, but that was my experience in August last year. 

    Keep positive, it is a very effective treatment.

  • He has to have chemo every Monday for 5 weeks he will have a pic line in and a bottle fitted. Told him it will make him feel ill. Not sure of rest of planas I couldn't take it all in

  • Hi  Have they mentioned that there is any spread to other organs? The picc line is fine and a lot easier than them putting a cannula in every week. The chemo may make him feel a bit rough or he might cope with it pretty well - there’s always lots of pills and potions to deal with any side effects x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • No no spread to other organs but in some lymph nodes 

  • Told him there are good margins around the tumour what ever that means