Depending upon the size of your tumor and the stage of
your cancer, you may be referred for external beam radiation
before and/or after your brachytherapy procedure.
The treatment is non-invasive and painless and is tailored
specifically to your needs by the radiation oncologist
and physicist. The first step in planning your individualized
treatment is a consultation with the radiation oncologist.
That visit usually takes 30-60 minutes at which time
the entire procedure will be fully explained to you
and your family.
Following the consultation, you will make another visit
for a treatment simulation. At this visit, you will
lie on a table and have a special X-ray. The appropriate
dosage and position are determined and a clear, adhesive
film is applied directly to your skin to provide a reference
for the positioning of the treatment beam. This clear
film remains on your body throughout the course of your
treatment -- you may bathe or shower with the film,
but take special care not to wash off the film or its
marks. If the film becomes discolored or otherwise damaged,
a new one will be applied.
On the same day of your simulation or at a later date,
portal films -- X-rays taken using the External Beam
machine -- will be taken to ensure the simulation was
After the portal images are verified, you will be scheduled
for the first of 25 treatments. These treatments are
conducted every weekday for five consecutive weeks.
The appointments are scheduled at 15 minutes intervals,
but the actual treatment only takes 5-10 minutes.
Depending upon your individual case, you may experience
side effects that include diarrhea or urethritis (burning
sensation when you urinate). If you experience these
symptoms, please inform your urologist or radiation
oncologist who will adjust your treatment or prescribe
medication to relieve the symptoms. The symptoms usually
fade after treatment is completed.
Directions to the Radiation
Follow the directions to University Hospital, but continue
past the entrance to the campus to the corner of Bergen
Street and South Orange Avenue. Make a left at the corner
of South Orange Avenue and make the first left into
UMDNJ Parking Lot #1. Toward the left of the lot you
will see parking spaces restricted for the New Jersey
Cancer Center and the Department of Radiology. Park
in one of those spaces.
Go in through the doors under the large sign "New
Jersey Cancer Center". Take the elevator down and
ask the receptionist for a parking permit. Place this
permit in your car's window immediately to avoid being
fined and having your car towed. After you've place
d the permit on your window, check in with the receptionist.
The permit will be good for one day only.