What Should I Expect or Bring?

As a new patient to St. Dominic’s Cancer Center, please bring the following items on your initial visit:

  • Information about prior radiation therapy at another facility, along with any recent blood work, CT scans, etc.
  • List of all your current medications
  • Social security card
  • Insurance card(s)

What should I expect on my initial visit for radiation therapy?

  • Your initial consult will take approximately 2 – 3 hours.
  • Please bring any medications you take with you to the appointment.
  • The radiation nurse will meet with you first.  Next, you’ll meet the radiation oncologist who will decide if you need a CT scan for treatment planning or a simulation to place your treatment marks.
  • If a CT scan is needed, you will return to the Cancer Center to receive it and then return for your simulation in about a week. The time between the appointments is needed for planning your treatment and making the necessary calculations.

As a new patient to St. Dominic’s Outpatient Infusion Center, please bring the following items on your initial visit:

  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance cards
  • List of current medications
  • You may bring headphones, books, magazines, etc.

What should I expect on my initial visit to the Outpatient Infusion Center?

  • Please eat a light breakfast prior to arriving to the infusion center. You may bring a preferred snack to the infusion center. Boxed lunch and snacks are available.
  • Patients are warmly greeted and admitted to the infusion center at their recliner.
  • You will meet with a trained nurse who will educate you as well as explain your treatment plan.
  • Lab is drawn if ordered by the physician.
  • Pharmacy will mix your medication and deliver it to the infusion center.
  • Length of therapy can be 1-6 hours depending on the drug and number of drugs administered.
  • Visitors are welcome to sit with you during your infusion.
  • Please notify the nurse of any recent issues or changes in the patient’s status.
  • Please feel free to ask questions or express concerns about the treatment.
  • For your simulation, you will be taken to the simulator and therapist mark the area of the body to be treated. This is done with a paint pen and tape. Do not remove your marks. They are what the therapist use each day to line up the machine for your treatment. If they become smudged or faded, do not attempt to replace them yourself. Your radiation therapist will take care of this on your next visit.
  • If your treatment will be to the head or neck, sometimes a mask of your head will be made to help you hold still and prevent from having to place marks on your face. This mask is made of a see-through mesh and will not hinder your breathing.
  • Once you have had your simulation, you will generally start your treatment the next day.
  • Usually, about halfway through your course of treatment, the doctor will reduce the area being treated. To do this, you will repeat the simulation process and new marks will be made.
  • Your radiation doctor will see you once a week on a scheduled day.  However, you experience any problems or have questions ask to speak with the radiation doctor or radiation nurse.
  • For after-hours problems that arise, a doctor is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call St. Dominic’s Cancer Center at 601-200-3070 and ask the nursing supervisor to page the doctor on call.
  • Once you’ve completed your course of treatment, expect to have a follow-up appointment 6 weeks later.
  • Again, contact St. Dominic’s Cancer Center anytime if you have questions or concerns.  If necessary, an earlier appointment can be made to evaluate any issue that cannot be resolved by phone.

St. Dominic’s offers a free weekly cancer orientation class that gives patients and their loved ones an overview of cancer treatment. Each participant receives a book containing information about chemotherapy, nutrition, social services, pastoral care services and radiation therapy. The class meets every Tuesday at 1:30 in the Education Room at St. Dominic’s Cancer Center. The class is open to any cancer patient and their loved ones. For more information or to register for the class, call 601.200.3300.