Radiotherapy - Lincoln County Hospital

The ward is located on the lower level 1 of the main hospital to the left of the building. When entering the entrance doors, you will find a spacious waiting area with multiple wipeable chairs, space for wheelchairs with access to a television and water dispenser.

To the right of the waiting room the large reception desk, will allow you to check in for your appointment whilst also having a large screen tablet, where you can input your car registration, allowing for free parking. From here you may be asked to wait in this waiting room or taken straight through to the Radiotherapy waiting room. 

You may be asked to change into a hospital gown during your visit, so it is advised you wear something easy to get on and off. Following this you will be taken to a treatment room, for further details regarding treatment or what will happen on the day please contact the ward on: 01522 572268  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is the use of high energy x-rays to target and treat tumours. We are able to use radiotherapy to treat a range of different tumours and treatment areas. Radiotherapy is very precise and is able to kill tumour cells effectively and minimise the amount of dose that is received by surrounding healthy cells. It involves a large, friendly team of us here that includes consultants, dosimetrists, pre-treatment and treatment radiographers, physicists and support staff such as our Macmillan radiographer Jane to ensure we can provide you with the best treatment and experience while you’re here having treatment with us.

Why do I have to come every day? (How does it work)

So that we can deliver your treatment most effectively, we need to break up the dose we give you into multiple treatments (called fractions). This allows the treatment to become more effective by allowing us to treat the tumour cells in the different stages of their cell cycle they move through each day, and also allows your healthy cells to repair themselves between treatments, so that side effects are reduced. This means that coming in each day for treatment is needed to ensure the treatment is as effective as it can be, we don’t require you to come in for treatment at the weekend though as this gives your body (and you) time to recuperate.

Does Radiotherapy Hurt/Will I feel anything?

No radiotherapy does not hurt, in fact most people feel absolutely nothing while the treatment is on. Occasionally the area being treated can feel slightly warm after treatment, but this relatively unlikely and is nothing to worry about if it does happen.

What happens if I move?

While it is important to stay as still as possible during the treatment, we understand that there may be occasions where people do move (e.g. during a cough or sneeze). We will be watching you at all times while we’re outside the room through cameras that are in the room, and so if we see that you have moved and we think your position may have changed, we will simply pop back in and set you back up in the right position, this will not affect your treatment at all.

Will I be Radioactive/ Can I see my family and friends? 

No you will not be radioactive after your treatment. The radiation disappears the second the treatment beam is turned off (which is why we are able to come back in and get you off our bed straight away) so you do not need to worry about staying away from your loved ones while you are having treatment.

How long does treatment take/ What happens during treatment?

How long treatment takes is different for everyone due to each person having their own unique treatment plan. Generally, our patients are in the room for about 10/15 minutes, although this may vary on a day to day basis so you should not be concerned if you find you are in there for shorter/longer than this. There are several processes and checks that take place before the treatment is delivered that can take varying amounts of time each day, but the treatment itself is usually only a couple of minutes.

What are the side effects and how long will they last?

Side effects vary depending on where it is we are treating. Your consultant or a member of our radiographer review team should explain some of both the short-term and long-term side effects to you at your consent appointment. You will also have a chat with a member of our team prior to starting your treatment to explain again some for the common side effects you may experience, we will also give you advice on how to manage these and when you may expect to experience them. Treatment side effects do vary between every person though, so everyone’s experience will be different. If you are ever concerned about any side effects you are experiencing or just want a chat to discuss side effects just ask one of our friendly team, we are more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Can I miss a treatment/ What happens if I miss a treatment

While we would prefer you to have your treatment as planned each day, we understand that things can crop up unexpectedly such as sickness or personal circumstances and so missing a treatment will not affect your overall treatment outcome. If this does happen we will simply add an extra treatment onto the end of your schedule so that you still receive the correct amount of treatment, or alternatively we may require you to come for two treatments in the same day with a break in between the two. 

How will my normal life be affected?
(Driving, work, sex/relationships, exercise, diet, sun, washing)

Most people are able to continue doing all the activities they would do in their normal daily life while on treatment, in fact we would encourage you to continue doing everything you would usually do as long as you feel well enough to do so. This includes work, driving, exercising, relationships and washing/personal hygiene. If we advise against engaging in any particular activities, we will make you aware of this prior to you starting treatment. It is also completely understandable if you don’t feel up to doing any of these, as we understand treatment affects everyone differently.

How will I/my Dr know if treatment has worked?

You will receive a follow up appointment normally around 6-10 weeks after you have finished your treatment, this is so that the treatment has enough time to continue working in your body even after you have completed all your appointments, it also allows time for your body to recover and return back to normal after treatment has finished so that any investigations (e.g. blood tests, scans) that are performed prior to your follow up are accurate. 

Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns during or after my treatment?

While you are on treatment with us you will have the opportunity to talk to any of our treatment radiographers who will be able to answer any questions/concerns you have and can refer you onto other services should you require. We have a Macmillan specialist radiographer in our department who can offer support and help with issues during your treatment and also have a team of specialist review radiographers who are able to offer support and advice regarding side effects and can prescribe certain things if necessary. Once you have finished your treatment with us you will be given a number for our review radiographers so if you have any questions/concerns they will be able to provide support even while you are not coming into the department.