Radiation Treatment for Lung Cancer
If you have lung cancer, one of your treatment options is radiation treatment. Radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation, aimed at the tumors, to destroy cancer cells.
What to expect from radiation treatment at MedStar Franklin Square
- Your doctor will refer you to a radiation oncologist. The radiation oncologist will see you and evaluate you for treatment. You will also talk to an oncology nurse that day and go over educational materials. Meet our radiation oncologists.
- Before beginning treatment, the radiation oncology team will plan a simulation. You will come to the radiation oncology center, where your radiation oncologist will plan your treatment.
- During planning, you will lie down on the CT simulator, a machine that allows your radiation therapy team to plan where to aim the radiation beams to provide the most effective treatment.
- After the CT, the radiation oncologist and other team members (physicists, dosimetrists) will begin to do your treatment planning, targeting the tumor and outlining any close sensitive structures in that area to provide the most effective treatment.
- We also like to educate our patients about what to expect from radiation therapy: possible side effects, nutrition and the best way to take care of yourself. We also give each patient a DVD to watch at home that explains this information.
- At your next visit, we will begin actual treatment. Most patients have 28-33 radiation therapy treatments, which averages to five days a week for six weeks.
- If you are in pain, we can sometimes arrange to do simulation and planning the same day you have treatment.
Side effects of radiation therapy
Some patients experience the following side effects:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Skin reaction
Medication can help manage your side effects. Your radiation nurses will discuss possible side effects with you and educate you about the best way to manage them. Please let your doctors and nurses know about your side effects as soon as possible-there is no reason to be uncomfortable.
Our goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible during radiation therapy treatment. Patients will see their radiation oncologist once a week during treatment, or at any time, if they have a question. Oncology nurses are there every day to assist patients, answer questions or triage if needed.
To make an appointment with one of our experienced lung cancer specialists, please call 443-777-5864 (LUNG).