A short guide by Dr. M. Theofanopoulou, Radiotherapy Oncologist, partner of Inter-Balkan Medical Center
1st: Radiation treats cancerous tumors using high-energy ionizing radiation produced by the Medical Linear Accelerator.
2nd: Radiotherapy Oncologist is the doctor who applies radiotherapy.
3rd: Radiotherapy is performed five days a week. It is not carried out on Saturdays or Sundays. Each session lasts for a few minutes and your presence in the Radiotherapy department lasts about half an hour in total. You have a fixed appointment.
4th: Firstly, you will have CT simulation, a special, easy and without contrast agents CT scan in the area of the body that is to receive radiation. In these images the doctor will mark the exact location of the cancerous tumor as well as the healthy organs to be protected.
Then, the treatment is designed. A lot of work is done for you before you join for your first session!
5th: The therapeutic unit of radiotherapy is the GREY, the international unit for radiation absorption from mass. 180 to 200 cGy is a daily dosage and 6,000 to 7,000 cGy is a typical total therapeutic dose. So radiotherapy is a treatment that is built daily and little or nothing. So, read a book and be patient!
6th: During your short radiotherapy session, you do not feel anything, you may be alone in the treatment room, but your radiologic technologists and doctor are constantly monitoring you. The machine rotates around you, always at a distance from you, you can hear the mechanical changes in the directional elements, the protective diaphragms, and the dose rate change if you are subjected to vmat radiation, but you should concentrate on the beautiful music that is there for you.
7th: Modern radiation therapy has minimal side effects because it is precisely targeted and because it is delivered by sophisticated high technology machines.
Patients that undergo radiotherapy continue their professional lives and social activities. Encouragement by the radiotherapist, support by the nursing staff of a modern radiotherapy department together with the minimization of the obvious side effects of radiation, such as redness, burning or hair loss, contribute to the very good psychology of our patients.
8th: You DO NOT radiate to the environment. While irradiation ceases, its anticancer action continues in an invisible and silent way. So embrace your baby without fear!
9th: Radiation therapy is applied to many tumors and multiple patients. Do not be affected by what you hear and see in the waiting room. Remember that everyone is also a special case.
10th: The biological effect of radiotherapy lasts for several weeks after its completion. Your doctor will ask you to return after 6 to 8 weeks to evaluate the complete therapeutic effect. We understand your impatience, but do not rush to do that MRI or measure prostate antigen, PSA.
11th: Radiotherapy has the way to rescue noble organs that suffer from cancer. Some are the larynx, the esophagus, the prostate, the bladder, the tongue, and even the breast.
So visit a Radiotherapist Doctor who will gladly answer your questions.