What can you expect for your first visit with RBOI?
• Upon arrival you will be greeted in our lobby by one of our office staff at the front desk.
At this time you will be given patient information sheets to fill out regarding your medications and your past medical history. These forms may be downloaded on our website and filled out prior to your arrival. If you have not already filled out the forms, we ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment so that you will have time to complete this paperwork in our front lobby.
• Once these forms have been completed, you will be greeted by one of our oncology certified registered nurses.
Your weight will be taken and then you will be led to one of our four fully-equipped examination rooms. At this time the nurse will verify your medical history, medications, and potential medical allergies. She will also measure your vital signs, including your blood pressure and your pulse rate.
• Once the nurse has completed her evaluation, you will then be seen in consultation by one of our physicians.
During this time, the physician will review your past medical history, have a thorough discussion with you regarding your current diagnosis, laboratory test, X-ray test, and your pathology report. The physician will also outline your options for treatment and will provide you with as much time as necessary to ask questions. You will also see your physician at least once a week for examination and to discuss your treatment.
• Once your consultation has been completed, you will be led to our patient waiting room.
This area will be the same location that you will be placed in every day prior to your therapy. At this time, one of our therapists will take you to our CT scan room so we can prepare you for your treatment.
• To prepare for your treatment, you will be taken to our CT simulator room.
At this time our therapist will explain the process to you and obtain your informed consent and permission for treatment planning. Next you will be placed on a CT scanner in a position specific to your type of tumor. A cushion will be placed under your knees to allow you to be more comfortable during the planning process, and a mold will be made customized to your body.
• Next, you will be placed in the CT scanner for a treatment planning CT scan.
Even though you may have had a prior study, these scans allow us to focus in on the area that we need to be treating while eliminating dose to normal tissues. Once the scan is complete, the therapist will verify that the images are indeed adequate for treatment planning, and then you will be removed from the treatment table.
• The data from your CT scan will then be forwarded to our physics department.
The Robert Boisonneault Oncology Institute employs full-time board-certified dosimetrists and full-time board-certified medical physicists to participate in your treatment planning process. Your physician and the physics staff will then in detail go through your planning studies to determine the most appropriate and effective way to treat your tumor.
• This process is extremely complex and may take up to one week to complete.
It is also highly tailored and specific to each individual patient’s tumor location and individual body shape. Our expert physics staff monitors every facet of your treatment on a weekly basis.
• Once your planning is complete, you will return to the Robert Boisonneault Oncology Institute to initiate your therapy.
Once you have changed into your gown, you will be greeted by one of our licensed, certified therapists and be taken to the actual vault where our linear accelerators are located.
• Linear accelerators are highly-specialized radiation machines designed to deliver high-energy X-rays and electrons in treatments of various types of cancers.
Once you are in the room, you will be placed in the same position that was utilized during the CT planning session. The therapist will then set you up accordingly to the guidelines established by the physics department and the field of radiation will then be verified by taking X-rays on our exact-track system.
• The treatment itself will then begin, and as you are treated the linear accelerator will rotate around you.
You will hear this machine running, but you will not sense or feel anything during your course of therapy. While you’re being treated, the therapist will be outside the room at the control panel but will be monitoring your treatment carefully through cameras and computer systems to verify that the treatment is performed accurately.
• Once your treatment has been completed, the therapist will re-enter the room, lower the table, and assist you out of the room.
This procedure will be repeated every day as you come in for your therapy, with very little variation from day to day noted. Your actual treatment will last approximately one minute per day and we would expect you to be in and out of the treatment room within about ten minutes each day.
• It is the philosophy of the Robert Boisonneault Oncology Institute that the patient be treated as a whole. With this in mind, we employ full-time Licensed Clinical Social Workers.
Our social workers will meet with you on a regular basis to assist you with any financial or psychological issues that may be going on secondary to your disease. They are also available to meet with your family, if necessary, to help the entire family unit deal with this disease process.
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