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High Plains Oncology

  Hobbs' only Radiation Oncology Treatment Center  

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First Visit/ Consultation

During this time the radiation oncologist will discuss your cancer and treatment options. The doctor will discuss length of treatment, side effects and further tests needed. This is the time for you to ask questions. If possible, bring a family member with you.




Simulation is the first part of the treatment planning process. The radiation oncologist uses a CT scanner to aid in planning your treatment. Sometimes a non-toxic dye will be given to you to outline certain internal organs. Before the scan, the radiation therapist may place you into a special positioning device to help hold your body still during treatment.






Planning Marks
Planning marks allow treatment to be given in precisely the same spot each time. You will be given small black permanent markings on your skin (about the size of a freckle). These marks will create a focus for the treatment machine. You will be able to bathe or shower normally and not be concerned about accidentally washing them off.

Receiving Treatments

The machine used to treat your illness is designed to provide therapeutic doses of radiation. Linear accelerators are used to deliver this radiation. In some cases, protective blocks will be made especially to shield your healthy tissues from the radiation.

During treatment, you will lie on a table and the table will raise you up under the treatment machine. The therapist will align your body to ensure proper administration of therapy. Patients differ in the number of angles and sites for treatment. Your therapist will monitor your treatment from outside the room with a closed circuit television and an intercom. The linear accelerator will create a buzzing sound that you will be able to hear while the radiation is delivered. It is extremely important that you do not move during your treatment.

You will be assessed weekly while receiving treatment to see how your body is responding to therapy. The nurse can answer any questions you may have at this time. Follow all home care instructions carefully and report any unusual symptoms to your healthcare team.

Follow-up Care
It is extremely important to schedule regular exams after your therapy. These follow-up exams serve as a means of measuring the continuing effects of your radiation and may include blood work and X-rays. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also part of your treatment after your radiation therapy is complete.

Common Questions

What is radiation?
It is the use of high energy X-rays to treat diseases. These are therapeutic X-rays that are different from diagnostic X-rays (i.e., chest X-ray).

What are the radiation treatments like?

You will be asked to lie on a treatment table in a certain position and hold very still. The treatment machine will move to a pre-determined position, and you will not feel or see the radiation.

How long will treatment take?
The treatment takes only 15-30 minutes each day. The course of treatment is usually 5 days a week for 2-8 weeks.

Who will give me my treatments?
The treatments are planned by your radiation oncologist and the dosimetrist, and they are administered by the radiation therapist.

What things should I do during treatment?
Continue your normal lifestyle and daily activities. Eat well and get plenty of rest. Do not scrub off temporary marks placed on your skin until told to do so. Do not apply any salves, direct heat or cold, lotions, or other self-remedies to the skin area being treated unless recommended by your healthcare team.

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