Patients are referred to the WA cancer centre after a medical referral for assessment by a radiotherapy consultant. These consultants are highly qualified in their field of work, and will examine each patient and analyse any test results to formulate a plan for the best course of treatment. All treatment plans are individualised and carried out with the consent of the patient, or the parent/guardian of a child, in the case of patients under the age of 18.
Treatment courses in the WA cancer centre will vary, according to different patient requirements, including disease status, age and patient preferences. Patients may be required to have specialised medications prior to commencing radiotherapy treatment depending on their type of illness. These medications may be administered within the department by nursing staff. These and other medications may be administered in the department during and post treatment. Patients may also require expert wound dressing advice, which is available in the department. If the radiotherapy treatment area requires wound care while treatment, this will also be carried out in the department by the nurses.
If it has been decided that the best treatment regime will include radiotherapy, this will be planned post a planning CT scan within the department for which the patient will have an appointment for. Depending on the type of treatment, an appointment in the mould room may precede this.
On the day of the CT scan, patient also meet with the nurses to discuss the appointment schedule which would have been formulated for treatment, the length of treatment varies from one treatment to 39 treatments. This is decided by the radiation oncologist. Nurses will educate the patient on side effect of the treatments, and do a thorough assessment to identify any potential problems, including transport to and from treatment, and refer to the allied health team as necessary.
During treatment, regular contact with nurses, radiotherapists and doctors will continue. These professionals are available in the department from 8:30am til 5:00pm Monday to Friday. If patients experience health problems related to their radiotherapy outside these hours, we recommend visiting their local GP, or if medical care is urgent, visit their local Emergency department.
On completion of the prescribed therapy at the WA cancer centre, you will revive a follow up visit with the radiatiotherapy consultant. Whether patients will continue to be followed up in the department for a length of time is the decision of the radiation oncologist. If a patient is discharged from the service, they can be re-referred at any time.