What is a CT scanner?
CT scanners refer to the highly specialised equipment used by your oncology team to properly visualise your cancer and the surrounding structures in the treatment area.
How do they work?
During the treatment planning session, you will meet with your radiographer, who will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
You will taken to the CT scan room, where you will lie on a special scanner couch. You will be placed in the same position in which you will receive treatment. Your radiographer will take various measurements of your body, which will help to determine the best position for the radiotherapy beams.
Your radiographer will leave the room to operate a specialised CT scanner, which will be used to plan the correct dose of radiation therapy, depending on the size, shape, and position of your tumour. The CT scanner has a large hole in the centre, and as the scanner rotates around your body, the examination table slides back and forwards through the hole. The scan itself is painless, and you will not feel any discomfort during this planning session.
Specialised CT scanners can produce 3D scans and computer images, which are very helpful in the treatment planning process. Being able to see a tumour in so much detail allows us to direct the radiation very precisely with minimal damage to surrounding tissue and organs.
When the radiation treatment planning is complete, marks will be made on your skin to ensure that you are correctly positioned for each treatment session. You will be given a treatment start date as soon as the treatment planning and authorisation has been completed and approved. This process takes approximately 5 working days, however, treatment can start immediately if your oncologist feels that this is necessary.