New Patients

As a new patient to St. Dominic's Cancer Center, please bring the following items on your initial visit:

  • Insurance card(s)
  • Social security card
  • List of all your current medications
  • Information about prior radiation therapy at another facility, along with any recent blood work, CT scans, etc.

What should I expect on my initial visit for radiation therapy?

  • Your initial consult will take approximately 2 - 3 hours.
  • Please bring any medications you take with you to the appointment.
  • The radiation nurse will meet with you first.  Next, you'll meet the radiation doctor who will decide if you need a CT scan for treatment planning or a simulation to place your treatment marks.
  • If a CT is needed, you will return to the Cancer Center to have it done and then return for your simulation in about a week. The time between the appointments is needed for planning your treatment and making the necessary calculations.

Getting Started

  • For your simulation, you will be taken to the simulator and therapist mark the area of the body to be treated. This is done with a paint pen and tape. Do not remove your marks. They are what the therapist use each day to line up the machine for your treatment. If they become smudged or faded, do not attempt to replace them yourself. Your radiation therapist will take care of this on your next visit.
  • If your treatment will be to the head or neck, sometimes a mask of your head will be made to help you hold still and prevent from having to place marks on your face. This mask is made of a see-through mesh and will not hinder your breathing.
  • Once you have had your simulation, you will generally start your treatment the next day.
  • Usually, about halfway through your course of treatment, the doctor will reduce the area being treated. To do this, you will repeat the simulation process and new marks will be made.
  • Your radiation doctor will see you once a week on a scheduled day.  However, you experience any problems or have questions ask to speak with the radiation doctor or radiation nurse.
  • For after-hours problems that arise, a doctor is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call St. Dominic's Cancer Center at 601-200-3070 and ask the nursing supervisor to page the doctor on call. 

Follow-up appointments

  • Once you've completed your course of treatment, expect to have a follow-up appointment 6 weeks later.
  • Again, contact St. Dominic's Cancer Center anytime if you have questions or concerns.  If necessary, an earlier appointment can be made to evaluate any issue that cannot be resolved by phone.