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Cancer Center Frequently Asked Questions – RADIATION ONCOLOGY

Radiation Oncology

Frequently Asked Questions

Does radiation treatment hurt or can I feel it?

No, the radiation will cause you no pain. Radiation cannot be seen, smelled, or felt while it is being administered.

Will I be radioactive after my treatment?

No, radiation therapy does not cause you to become radioactive. The radiation produced by the linear accelerator is not active in your body after treatment.

How many treatments will I receive?

The number of treatments a patient receives is based upon the diagnosis, and extent of disease. Each patient will have an individualized treatment plan created, with a specific number of treatments. Treatments are generally delivered 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, for 2-9 weeks, depending on the tumor type and location.

How will I know my schedule?

The team of radiation therapists at East Hawaii Health Cancer Center will schedule all of your appointments for treatment with you after your first treatment.

How long does my treatment take?

Each treatment type is different. Your radiation therapist will give you a rough estimate of how long each treatment will take. This is dependent upon the type of treatment plan the radiation oncologist and dosimetrist create. Please allow 30-60 minutes from the time you enter the department to the time you leave.

Are you going to burn me with radiation?

Reactions to radiation vary from patient to patient and are dependent upon the site of treatment. Tumors closer to the skins surface are more prone to having a reaction, other tumors deeper from the skins surface have very little reaction.

Will radiation therapy damage healthy normal tissue?

Radiation therapy is designed to treat the tumor volume containing the malignant tissue. During radiation treatment, some normal tissue can temporarily be irradiated, this is normal.

Will I lose my hair if I receive radiation?

Radiation generally affects the area in which it is administered to. If your head is not being irradiated, you will not lose your hair.

What are your Policies on COVID-19?

The COVID-19 Policies for Hilo Benioff Medical Center and East Hawaii Health can be found on our polices page