What should I know about radiation therapy treatments?

  • Will my treatments be given by qualified physicians and staff?
  • Does the facility have the equipment I need to receive safe and up-to-date cancer treatment?
  • Is the facility accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR)-American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)?

Why should I have my treatments at an accredited facility?

A diagnosis of cancer is usually a life-changing experience for patients and their loved ones. As they seek treatment for their disease, cancer patients need to know that they are receiving safe and appropriate care. To achieve ACR-ASTRO Accreditation, our facility’s personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. It’s important for patients to know that every aspect of the ACR-ASTRO accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiation oncologists and medical physicists.

What does ACR-ASTRO accreditation mean?

  • Our facility has voluntarily gone through a vigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally-accepted standards of care.
  • Our personnel are well qualified, through education and certification, and to administer your radiation therapy treatments.
  • Our equipment is appropriate for the treatment you will receive, and our facility meets or exceeds quality assurance and safety guidelines.

What does the accreditation seal mean?

When you see the ACR-ASTRO seal, you can rest assured that your treatment will be done at a facility that has met the highest level of quality and radiation safety. The facility and its personnel have gone through a comprehensive review to earn accreditation status by the American College of Radiology (ACR), a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists and The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), a professional organization serving more than 10,000 radiation oncologists, medical physicists and other health care professionals involved in the treatment of cancer patients.


What are the possible side effects?

  • Red, itching and peeling skin in your treatment area.
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss in the area being treated

Will radiation therapy make me radioactive?

No, the patient will not need to avoid others in fear of exposing them to radiation.

Who administers my treatment?

Several people will be involved in your treatment process:

  • Radiation Oncologist – is responsible for your treatment planning, duration of treatment, and managing any medical problems you may encounter during the treatment.
  • Radiation Therapist - delivers the treatment prescribed by the radiation oncologist.  They will help you through the entire treatment process. 
  • Radiation Therapy Nurse – will be there to assist you through the entire treatment and works closely with the radiation oncologist.

Does Radiation treatment hurt?

The treatment is not painful; however; it may be a slightly uncomfortable.  If you should experience any discomfort please discuss it with the radiation therapist.

Why do I have to be alone during the treatment?

Even though you are alone in the treatment room the radiation therapist will monitor you the entire time by intercom and video camera.  If they were in the room with each patient they would be exposed to very high levels of radiation, which can be harmful.  If you need anything during your treatment speak up and the therapist can stop treatment. 

What are some additional things I can do at home during treatment?

  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Monitor your weight – if you lose or gain more than 10 lbs let your nurse or doctor know.
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get some exercise without over exerting yourself
  • Get plenty of rest

What about my other medications?

Please provide the doctor or nurse with a full list of all medications you are taking.