New Patient Information
What to expect, from making an appointment to preparing for your first visit.
As a patient at the Winship Cancer Institute, we want to make your experience as easy as possible. The following sections will walk you through how to make an appointment, how to prepare for your first visit and what to expect when you get here.
Call (404) 778-3473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to make an appointment.
You can also call the Winship Cancer Institute toll-free at 1 (888) WINSHIP (946-7447) or at (404) 778-1900.
We offer radiation treatment at five metro Atlanta locations including:
- Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
- Winship at Emory University Hospital Midtown
- Winship at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
- Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady
- Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Before you come in for your first appointment, please fill out and sign the following forms for new patients.
Bring the completed forms with you to your first appointment or fax them to (404) 778-3670. You will have another chance to fill out the forms at your appointment but by completing them now you will save time later.
Your radiation oncologist is the leader of your treatment team. A radiation oncologist is a doctor or physician specializing in radiation oncology. Our physicians are board certified and experts in using radiation to treat tumors. They will discuss your care and treatment options with you to decide on the best plan of action.
Your treatment team will also include the following people.
- At the time of your first visit, a patient services representative will greet you and check you in at the reception desk. They will also help to schedule follow-up visits.
- Medical assistants will bring you to the exam room, record your vitals and assist with other medical procedures.
- Nurses are actively involved in your care. Before your first treatment, a registered nurse will teach you about radiation treatment and explain possible side effects.
- Nurse practitioners work side-by-side with doctors. They are available to assist with questions about your treatment and help manage any side effects that may occur.
- In addition to your physician, you may meet a resident physician who is undergoing specialized training in radiation oncology. He or she works under the supervision of the radiation oncologist.
- A radiation therapist will administer your treatment. This means they will set up the radiation machines, called linear accelerators, to deliver the precise dose of radiation as prescribed by your doctor. You and your therapist will set up a schedule for your daily treatments.
- Behind the scenes, physicists and dosimetrists work with radiation oncologists to plan the best way to deliver radiation to a tumor. Using a special computer, they calculate the direction of the radiation beam and the type of equipment to be used. They make sure that radiation is administered safely and accurately.
- We have a social worker available to help you address personal or family issues related to your diagnosis or treatment. She can also advise you about transportation or temporary housing options during treatment. Read more about our support services.
- A lymphedema therapist is available for patients who experience swelling of the lymph nodes. Your physician will recommend a consult with this specialist if they feel you would benefit from it.
- A financial counselor and members of our billing staff are also available to help you understand the financial aspects of radiation treatment.
During your consultation, the doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical history and radiology scans. Your physician will review different treatment options with you. Together, you will discuss the goals and side effects of your treatment.
Radiation can be used as a stand-alone treatment, and often it is the only treatment needed. Radiation is also used in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, or biological therapy. For example, doctors can use radiation before surgery to shrink a tumor, or after surgery to stop the growth of remaining cancer cells.
Your treatment planning may take a few days or up to a week before your treatment can begin.
Before treatment can begin, a CT scan, or detailed X-ray image, is taken of the area on your body to be treated with radiation. The simulation process can last anywhere from 10-60 minutes.
Over the next week, your treatment team will use data from the CT images to plan your treatment. Approximately 1 week after your CT simulation, your treatments will begin.
On the first day of your treatment, we will acquaint you with your radiation therapist and your treatment room. You will be assigned to the same room for all of your treatments.
Your radiation therapist will use images like X-rays to ensure that you are positioned properly in the radiation machines for your treatment. Once you are positioned, your treatment can begin. It is very important that you do not move after you have been correctly positioned. If you are uncomfortable or if you are having trouble holding yourself still, let your therapist know.
The therapists leave the room during treatment and observe you through a closed-circuit television. The treatment machine make a steady buzzing noise when the beam is on, and the machine may rotate around you. You will not feel anything during treatment. If you feel sick or uncomfortable during the treatment, notify the therapist immediately.
Radiation treatments are usually given Monday through Friday (not on weekends). You will come at the same time every day. Your treatment will last approximately 30 minutes every day.
During treatment, your treatment plan may be revised depending on your progress and your response to the therapy. This is not uncommon. Do your best not to miss a treatment because unnecessary delays can lessen the effectiveness of therapy.
Your physician will plan your follow-up care. In general, you will need a follow-up appointment with the doctor, plus occasional CT or MRI scans. Follow-up care is dependent on the type of disease and treatment you have undergone. Taking care of yourself and maintaining healthy habits following your treatment is part of your follow-up care.
Please call (404) 778-3473 or email email@example.com.
For after-hour emergencies, please call (404) 778-5000 and ask the operator to contact the Radiation Oncologist on call.