What to Expect
Your First Visit
During your first visit to the brain metastases speciality clinic, you may be scheduled to see doctors from neurosurgery, medical oncology, or radiation oncology. You may also have tests and meet with nurses, a patient counselor or other support service providers.
It is important that we obtain your pertinent medical records including applicable radiology reports (MRI, PET and CT reports and the actual images), lab reports, pathology slides, and medical summaries. It is very important for us to have any radiation records if you have received radiation therapy in the past.
We will schedule appointments and make arrangements to obtain these records before your visit.
Please bring the following to your clinic appointment:
- physician's name, address and phone number.
- patient identification card if you have been seen before at UNC
- insurance card and any other related forms required by your insurance company
- any medications you are taking or a list of these medications and the dosages.
Treatment options may include:
- The opportunity to participate in a clinical research trial
- Chemotherapy: You will be taught what to expect and how to manage care at home
- Radiation treatment (including Cyberknife): The treatment, procedures and side effects will be explained. You may be scheduled for simulation, which uses x-ray images to precisely locate and mark the target treatment area. After simulation, a radiation therapist will give you the date and time for treatment to begin.
Radiation Treatment Available Includes:
- CT-based three-dimensional (3D) imaging for radiation treatment planning pioneered at UNC and several other universities. Unlike traditional treatment planning, 3D imaging allows radiation oncologists to view a tumor from all angles and make tumor targeting much more precise, reducing the amount of radiation delivered to normal tissue.
- Image registration. 3D imaging can be used on previous diagnostic scans from other institutions, to determine original tumor size and location and avoid additional CT scans.
- UNC is one of a few cancer centers in North Carolina to offer intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which allows safer and more precise distribution of radiation
For more information on radiation therapy, click here.