There is a lot to learn when you are first diagnosed and undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. This video series was produced by CancerControl Alberta, with patients and cancer experts, to help you learn about what radiation treatment is, what the steps are to prepare for it, how radiation treatment is delivered, how to manage side effects, and how to live well during treatment.
For people who need total body irradiation, there is an additional video to help you understand the treatment and how to prepare for it.
What Is Radiation Treatment?
This video has 4 presentations. Dr. Elizabeth Kurien, a radiation oncologist, explains what radiation treatment is and what the goals of treatment can be. Dr. Greg Peirce, a medical physicist, explains how radiation treatments affect our cells and how radiation treatments are given. Safiya Nanji, an oncology nurse, describes some side effects of treatment. Matthew Scott, a radiation therapist, explains how radiation treatment is very specific to an area of the body. You’ll meet 2 patients, Gerry and Charlotte, who share their experiences of being diagnosed, and what treatment was like for them.
Preparing For Radiation Treatment
This video has 2 presentations. Dr. Elizabeth Kurien, a radiation oncologist, describes the CT simulation process and some of the special steps taken to prepare you and your body for treatment. She talks about how every person’s treatment is unique. Matthew Scott, a radiation therapist, explains some of the steps that happen after your CT simulation appointment and before you start your radiation treatments. Charlotte and Gerry share their experience of preparing for radiation and what their CT simulation experience was like.
How Is Radiation Treatment Given?
This video has 3 presentations. Matthew Scott, a radiation therapist, talks about what will happen during a radiation treatment, and what the treatment machine and room will look like. Dr. Elizabeth Kurien, a radiation oncologist, talks about how the radiation machine will move around you during treatment and how every person’s radiation treatment is unique. Dr. Greg Peirce, a medical physicist, explains how the amount of radiation (dose) and the number of treatments (fractionation) is specific to each person and the type of cancer they have. Charlotte and Gerry share their experience about having radiation treatment.
Managing Your Side Effects
This video has 4 presentations. Dr. Elizabeth Kurien, a radiation oncologist, explains how side effects depend on the area of the body getting treatment and the amount of radiation given. She talks about when side effects usually develop. Safiya Nanji, an oncology nurse, describes some common side effects. Matthew Scott, a radiation therapist, explains the 2 most common side effects and gives some tips on how to manage them. Kallee Marshall, a registered dietitian, talks about the importance of nutrition and hydration (getting enough fluids) and to maintain your weight during treatment. Two patients also share their experiences.
Living Your Best Life During Radiation Treatment
In this video, you’ll meet 3 healthcare professionals who talk about the resources available to help you live well during cancer treatments. Tricia Hutchinson, a social worker, describes some resources for cancer patients and their family members. She gives tips on how to live well during and after treatment. Kallee Marshall, a registered dietitian, stresses the importance of protein and fluids during treatment. She gives tips on how to manage your energy and diet during treatment. Tracy Smith, a physiotherapist, talks about services that cancer rehabilitation specialists can provide patients during and after treatment. This includes help with your flexibility, exercise, energy conservation, pain and skin sensitivity, daily activities, swallowing problems and more. Gerry and his wife Marcia talk about how the resources really helped them. Charlotte, a patient, talks about how patient education classes, a good mindset, and being around friends and family really helped her during treatment.
Total Body Irradiation
In this video, you will learn about total body irradiation, a treatment used to prepare people for a bone marrow transplant. Dr. Jeffrey Cao, a radiation oncologist, describes what total body irradiation is, why it is done, and the steps to prepare for it including a CT simulation appointment. Dr. Greg Peirce, a medical physicists, describes some of the details of having this treatment. This treatment is provided in Calgary at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, where the stem cell (or bone marrow) transplant team for the province is located. Your consultation appointment with a radiation oncologist and your CT simulation appointment can be done at a cancer centres closer to your home.