Our receptionists will welcome you at your first visit and at all following visits
to our practice.
First, we will record your data. Please bring all previous medical records with you (surgery reports, histological findings, X-ray images, your follow-up calendar …). If there are important documents missing, they must be obtained from your referring institution, which might cause an addition wait time.
Our receptionists will give you some initial information and a general information sheet on the radiation treatment of the respective disease.
Once the physician has reviewed your disease and medical by means of the submitted findings, he/she will conduct a thorough information interview. We place high value on this interview because it allows us to get to know you and discuss a possible treatment in detail. We take time to answer your questions. You will then receive further printed information leaflets on your treatment and the dates for the following radiation planning.
The physicians have daily meetings where they discuss and determine the treatment plan for each patient.
For treatments of the head and neck, we initially create an individual mask for you to ensure an exact resting position. Any necessary markings will be made on the mask and not on your skin.
A Prerequisite for any modern radiation plan is a planning-CT, which will be created in treatment position and takes only a few minutes. The data of this examination will be transferred directly to the planning computer, which is why we can't use your diagnostic CT's here.
Next the planning physician will mark the region to be irradiated on each CT-layer as well as any adjacent organs that are to be protected, for instance lungs, spinal cord or kidneys.
Now, medical physicists and the physicians will create a radiation plan with the aid of a 3-D planning system. The treatment planning process usually takes a few days or even only several hours if necessary.
Several markings will be made on your body or on the mask. These are required to determine the exact resting position and therefore must remain for the entire duration of your treatment. Careful showering or washing is possible, but you should avoid bathing, swimming and visits to the sauna. Our medical-technical assistants (MTRA) will renew these markings if necessary.
The first radiation will be carried out in the presence of the physician, the MTRA and, if applicable, the physicist. They will check all the settings once again and make control images of the treatment fields. For this reason, the first treatment will last slightly longer than the following sessions, which will then take only a few minutes.
The total dose required for a specific disease generally must be applied in small dosages (fractions) to minimise side effects in the healthy tissue. Therefore, an irradiation series usually takes several days or even several weeks. Our MTRA will give you a schedule for your daily irradiation sessions. If you have any requests concerning your appointments, please contact the MTRA. If possible the irradiation sessions of one series should be carried out without interruption.
Whenever you visit our practice, please go to the registration desk first and then take a seat in the waiting room. You will then be called in or somebody will come to accompany you. Please bring a towel to lie on when you come to your daily irradiation sessions. This will help us to reduce the volume of our laundry and protect the environment. Regular controls will be carried out in the course of time, mostly during the irradiation, so you won't even notice them. Sometimes, the treatment plan needs to be changed during the course of a series, e.g. if the tumour size has decreased during the treatment and the irradiated volume can be reduced. In this case, we might make a second planning-CT.
During the radiation treatment there might be some side effects or it might be the disease itself that causes complaints. Please notify us if there are any problems. If required, we will provide suitable care, prescribe medication for you, organize a parental (i.e. via a vein) or probe nutrition at home or admit you to the hospital. We monitor the course of your treatment by regular examinations, e.g. of the irradiated skin, or by laboratory controls.
Once the radiation treatment is completed, we will conduct a final examination and interview with you. Here, we will not only discuss any side effects that arose and their treatment, but also plan potential other treatments and the follow-up. Please bring your follow-up calendar to the interview.
If there were any side effects, we might ask you to visit us again for a follow-up examination within a few days. Usually, the first radiation therapy control examination is carried out approximately 6 weeks after the end of your treatment. In the event that there are any problems in the meantime, we are of course available at any time.
The other tumour follow-up is usually done by the respective specialist physicians who referred you to us. Pursuant to the Radiation Protection Regulation, we as radiation oncologists are obliged to carry out follow-up examination of our patients for at least 5 years. For this reason, we will contact you once a year in writing to enquire after your condition. If the physician who is responsible for your continued treatment then informs us on your status, you won't have to show-up in our practice for this follow-up examination.