New Patient Information
Welcome to Valley Medical Center Radiation Oncology and thank you for choosing us for your care.
If you have any questions prior to your first visit, please do not hesitate to contact our team at 425.690.3565.
What to bring to your first visit
- Picture ID
- Insurance cards
- List of current medications and dosages and a list of any herbal and supplemental vitamins/minerals
- Upon request, outside medical records and/or imaging on disk.
What to Expect at first visit
Your first appointment for consultation will take approximately 90 minutes. You may expect to have a health history taken and reviewed, a recommendation for treatment, an overview of the planning process and will receive a list of side effects you many expect from treatment. Please feel free to bring family or a friend with you to this appointment as well as a list of any questions you might have.
Questions to ask the Radiation Oncologist
- What type and stage of cancer do I have?
- What are my treatment options?
- What is the purpose of radiation treatment for my type of cancer?
- How will the radiation be given? Will it be external beam or brachytherapy?
- What do the treatments feel like?
- How long will I receive radiation? How many treatments will I receive per week?
- What are the chances that radiation therapy will work?
- What is the chance that the cancer will spread or come back if I do not have radiation therapy?
- Will I need chemotherapy, surgery, hormone therapy or other treatments? If so, in what order will I receive these treatments? When should I start them?
- What are some of the support groups I can turn to during treatment?
- Will radiation therapy affect my ability to have children?
- If I have questions after I leave, who can I call?
What to expect when radiation treatment is recommended
You will be scheduled for several appointments before radiation therapy begins:
- Radiation treatment planning (also known as a CT simulation or "sim"): During this appointment, we will take measurements and gather data around the area (called a "port" or "treatment field") where you will receive radiation treatment. You will be placed in a reproducible treatment position, which sometimes requires using devices like masks or molds. The simulation appointment can take up to 90 minutes and will be performed by a radiation therapist. Your radiation oncologist, together with a physicist and a dosimetrist, will develop your radiation treatment plan based on the CT (CAT Scan) images taken during your simulation appointment. Learn more about your treatment team here.
- Block Verification Simulation (BVS) or "dry run": During this appointment you will be brought to one of the radiation treatment rooms by a radiation therapist. As you lie on the treatment table, the radiation therapists will align you using small tattoos placed on you to make sure you are in the proper treatment position. The therapist will take x-ray pictures of you in this position; you will not receive any radiation treatment during this appointment. The "dry run" and x-ray images are done as a safety check to ensure that your position, treatment field and treatment settings are exactly the way the radiation oncologist has ordered for your specific treatment. This appointment will take at least 30 minutes.
- Daily Radiation Treatment will begin after your "dry run" is completed and verified. Treatment appointments are typically scheduled once a day, Monday through Friday. The number of weeks that you receive radiation treatment is determined by your radiation oncologist and is based on your individual situation. Each treatment appointment will last around 15-30 minutes.
You can expect that you will receive two separate bills for your visit.
- Valley Medical Center: These are charges based on the type of care you receive and may include charges for radiation therapy planning and treatments, nursing, imaging, and lab work. If you have any questions regarding your Valley Medical Center bill, please contact Patient Financial Services or call 1.855.826.1540 or 425.690.3578, option 5.
- Tumor Institute Radiation Oncology Group (TIROG): These charges can be described as professional services rendered by your radiation oncologist. If you have questions regarding this bill, please call 206.749.5130.
To request medical records, please contact the Health Information Management Department at Valley Medical Center at 425.690.3406.
Insurance & Financial Resources
We accept the majority of insurance companies. If you are concerned about insurance coverage or what you must pay for your services, please call your insurance company directly. Learn more about billing and insurance at Valley Medical Center.