Understanding Radiation Therapy

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Informed consent for radiation therapy

Before treatment, you will be asked to sign a consent form. This form gives the doctor permission to treat you with radiation and do the tests that are needed to plan your treatment. The details of the consent form can vary, but it usually says that your doctor has explained to you how radiation therapy may benefit you, the possible risks, the type of radiation to be used, and your other treatment options. By signing the form, you are saying that you have gotten this information, you understand it, and you are willing to be treated with radiation. It also means that you understand there is no guarantee that the treatment will work.

Before signing the consent form, be sure that you understand these things:

  • Your diagnosis
  • The type of radiation treatment the doctor plans to use
  • Other treatment options available for you
  • How the treatment will be given, including how long it will last
  • Whether you will need tattoos or permanent markings for treatment
  • The goal and potential benefits of the treatment
  • The possible side effects, including when they usually show up and how long they last
  • When to call your doctor
  • The possible outcomes if you refuse treatment

Last Medical Review: 05/02/2014
Last Revised: 05/02/2014