Planning appointment


I am due to have my planning scan for radiotherapy in a few weeks & i am worrying what this involves.

Do they just scan your chest area or the top half of your body? I’m overthinking everything these past few weeks & this is something that is on my mind quite a bit. 

thank you xx 

Hello @tweenie  

At you planning appointment the area which is being treated will be subject to a CT scan. Assuming you are just having your affected breast treated (which is what I had) you will have to lie on a “bed” (a loose term as it is not very comfortable I’m afraid). You will be given a special gown/surgical top which undoes at the shoulders to reveal your breasts.

You will be positioned so that you are lying in the position you will lie in for the actual treatment (with your arms above your head) this then ables the radiographers to take a series of measurements to ensure the therapy is delivered to exactly the right area. Once this position has been established they will make some very tiny marks on your skin with tattoo ink (I’m aware from this forum that some hospitals offer alternatives of covered pen marks: I had tattoo dots but they are so small I struggle to see them now). These dots will be used to line you up for your actual treatment.
The treatments themselves are usually much quicker than the planning appointment and are painless at the time, but you may get some skin reaction. It is recommended that you moisturise the affected area regularly (I did it at least 3 times a day) and drink lots of water: this helps the body and skin stay hydrated.  
I found the radiographers who treated me to be really kind and friendly. 

Good luck with your appointment 

AM xxx

Hello Tweenie

I have just seen your post and thought I would offer my own experience.  My planning appointment was about 45 minutes long.  I had to strip to the waist and remove my shoes, I was given a piece of the paper towel they use on the beds to cover me, though a gown was provided once my treatment started.  As I lay on the bed they adjusted my position several times until they were happy they were able to cover the areas to be targeted, Initially I had both my arms raised but after trying different positions they decided that my position was better with my untreated arm by my side and I had a handle to hold to ensure I could remain in position without feeling any strain.  I was having treatment to my entire breast, underarm and collarbone, because they were treating my collarbone I also had a chin strap, which they made to fit me using a piece of what looked like plastic which was warmed until pliable, but was not uncomfortable as it moulded to the shape of my chin and it took only a few minutes to shape it.  I was also given three very small tatoo’s which they use to line up when treatment starts.  Overall I found my radiotherapy treatment very managable, all the staff were really friendly and helpful, no question was to silly to ask and advice was regularly given.  I used moisturiser (Aveeno) morning and night and in between if I felt the need and continue to use it when I feel the need.  I completed my treatment in November and had 15 sessions in total.  I hope this is of some help and reassurance.

Good Luck