Appointment types in radiotherapy
This is where your clinical oncology team provides you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your treatment and consent to this. If you are happy to proceed with the treatment, you will be referred for radiotherapy treatment. At this stage, you will be given the information you need about your specific treatment, any side effects which you may experience and the aim of your treatment.
You may need an appointment either by telephone, a group session or signposting to virtual information, which will prepare you for your individual treatment. The planning process for your individualised treatment begins and may include a mould room appointment and a planning CT.
Mould room appointment
If you need radiotherapy treatment to your head, neck, or limbs, we may need to make you a device that will help you keep still during the planning and treatment processes, so that your treatment is precise and effective. We carry this out at the radiotherapy department at Cheltenham General Hospital. This is often called a shell or mask and it is made from thermoplastic mesh, which will fit you like a second skin. It is softened in warm water and ‘moulded’ to the shape of the area required. Or you may have a ‘moulded beanbag’ made to support you. Once this has been made and fitted, you will need to wear it for your pre-treatment planning CT scan and for each radiotherapy treatment.
Planning CT appointment
You will need to have a planning CT scan, which allows us to accurately target your radiotherapy treatment. If you need to prepare anything specifically for this appointment for example bladder filling, we will let you know in your appointment letter or on the day of your scan. This will take place at the radiotherapy department at Cheltenham General Hospital.
At this appointment we usually need to make permanent dots on your skin near the area of the body we will be treated – we use a needle and tattoo ink. They will be roughly the size of a freckle. These permanent tattoos are used to position the radiotherapy treatment precisely. This CT scan cannot be used to give you any specific information about your cancer.