Cancer Treatment at Wendt Cancer Center | UnityPoint Health -Dubuque
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The Best Cancer Care at the Wendt Center

At the Wendt Regional Cancer Center, we understand that a cancer diagnosis can be life changing. That's why we provide Dubuque and the surrounding areas with leading cancer treatment and a knowledgeable and compassionate care team to help patients understand their diagnosis and put minds at ease. 

Learn more about what to expect during treatment below.


First Visit - Consult Day

Check In

When you enter the Wendt Regional Cancer Center, you will be greeted by the staff at the front office. They will complete your registration process,   have you review your information and provide two contacts.

Copies of your insurance card and photo identification will be made at your first visit, and again, verified at the first of each month. 

Meet the Nurse

Once the registration process is complete, you will meet with the nurse. The nurse will review your health and history form, as well as help you complete any unanswered questions.

Your weight and blood pressure will be checked, and then you'll move to an exam room to review your health history form with the nurse.

Radiation treatment routine and side effects will be discussed, along with information on radiation therapy, support groups and pain relief/control solutions. There will be time for additional questions you may have for the nurse.

Timeframe: 30 - 45 minutes

Meet the Physician

After visiting with the nurse, you will meet the physician, who will discuss your treatment plan and options. The physician will perform a brief physical exam.

Timeframe: 30 - 60 minutes


Second Visit - Simulation

Meet the Radiation Therapist

When you arrive, check in at the front desk.

A radiation therapist will come to the waiting area and escort you to the simulation room. The simulation process will be explained and the radiation therapist will answer any questions.

A family member may accompany you and listen to this information, but will be asked to leave before the procedure begins.

Timeframe: 5 to 10 minutes

Simulation Process Begins

Depending on the procedure selected by your physician, you may need to have media (dye) injected. If an injection is required, you'll need to complete a consent form and have an IV started.

Timeframe: 5 -10 minutes

Special positioning devices may be used depending on the area being marked out or localized.

Timeframe: 5 - 15 minutes

Scanning Begins

You'll be positioned on a CT scanner. A magic marker will be used to place preliminary marks to align for treatment. The scanning begins.

Timeframe: 5 - 10 minutes

Scanning Complete

After the scan is complete, you must hold still while the radiation therapist completes the scanning process in the CT simulation room.

Timeframe: 5 - 10 minutes

The radiation therapist will place final marks on you with a relatively permanent ink, which needs to remain through the entire two to eight week treatment period. 

A digital photo will be taken of your positioning for documentation purposes.

Visit Complete

After the simulation is completed, you'll be escorted back to the waiting room. You'll receive instructions about your return visit to begin radiation therapy.

The usual timeframe to start treatment is four to seven days, unless I.M.R.T. (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) or Stereotactic Radiotherapy will be performed. In these cases it may take seven to ten days.

Feel free to ask any questions. 

Timeframe: Total Visit: 60 - 75 minutes


Third Visit - Cancer Treatment

Meet the Radiation Therapist

When you arrive, check in at the front desk.

A radiation therapist will come to the waiting area and escort you to the treatment room. You will be asked for your information and two forms of identification before you are treated.

The radiation therapist will explain the treatment procedure and answer any questions.

Positioning Begins

You will be positioned on the treatment table exactly as you were during the simulation (marking) procedure. While in treatment position, the radiation therapist will take x-rays to confirm your treatment position.

Timeframe: 10 - 30 minutes

Cancer Treatment Begins

Your x-rays will be reviewed by the physician before the initial treatment is given. Once the physician approves the treatment position, the radiation therapist will leave the treatment room and monitor you on a closed-circuit television intercom system. The patient is the only person allowed in the treatment room during this time.

You will not feel pain or discomfort during treatment, but you will hear a slight buzzing sound while the treatment machine is on.

Timeframe: The treatment machine is on for 30 - 60 seconds per each radiation port, taking approximately 5 - 15 minutes. Total time for this process is 30 - 45 minutes. However, after your initial treatment, daily treatments will be 5-15 minutes.