The Scans and Dummy run

Scans

Following the successful creation of your mask, you are taken to the CT scanner. This is another room with a large white machine resembling a doughnut with a table in front.

ct scanner
The CT Scanner

Here you lie down on the scanner table with your mask fitted and get CT scanned. During this Morag and her team place markers on your mask which are then used for alignment during your treatment. The alignment is done with vertical and horizontal laser beams which emanate from fixed units on the wall. Each treatment room has these lasers which allow the staff to position you correctly with millimetre precision each time.

From the scans the radiographer and/or consultant then plots the areas to be treated and calculates the direction of the beams for your radiotherapy.

scan diagram
Diagram for radiotherapy treatment angles

scan angles
List of treatment angles

A few days after your scans, once all the information has been analysed and marked up, you are called back for the dummy run.

Dummy run

This is a run through to check everything and gives you a good idea of what to expect when having the treatment. Although not recieving any treatment at this point, you are placed on a radiotherapy machine which takes an x-ray scan. This allows the staff to check all the markers and calculated directions.

Again you lie on the table with a support under your legs and your head resting on a cradle after which your mask is put over you and clamped to the table. The radiographers then line up the laser beams with the markers on your mask and the machine is set to go.

x-ray scanner
X-Ray Scanner

Treatment