Commonly Asked Questions
How do I find the Radiation Oncology Department?
Enter the main entrance of Rockford Memorial Hospital and go through the lobby area towards the gift shop. There is an elevator located near the entrance of the gift shop that will take you to the ground floor. Get off the elevator on the ground floor and turn right. Follow the signs around the corner to the Department of Radiation Oncology.
If you must register, the registration desk is located to the left upon entering the main lobby of the hospital. Please allow yourself at least 30 minutes for this procedure.
What should I expect on my first visit to the Radiation Oncology Department?
On the first visit to the Radiation Oncology Department, you will meet with a nurse who will review your medical history and ask you questions about yourself. She will also show you a department video about radiation and what you might experience. You will meet with Dr. Karen Smorowski, in order to discuss treatment options and the best procedure for your individualized situation. Dr. Smorowski’s honest and caring nature will make you feel more secure and at ease with your decision.
What happens after I see the doctor?
If radiation is a treatment of choice, the decision to proceed is up to you. We recognize that this is not always an easy thing to do, but with Dr. Smorowski’s expertise, she can help you make the best choice. Once you give your consent for treatment, a simulation is performed in order to map out the area on the skin. The simulation is painless and requires low levels of x-rays, in order for a plan to be created specifically for you. With the help of a CT machine, the Radiation Oncologist and the Dosimetrist use the images in order to plan and direct the radiation beams so that any damage to normal, healthy tissues is kept to a minimum. Marks are placed on the skin, and it is important to keep these because the Radiation Therapists use the marks for daily treatment delivery.
When will I start my treatments?
Treatments will begin after the treatment plan is finished and approved by the Radiation Oncologist and the physicist. Once everything is completed and checked, someone will call you with an appointment time to start your treatments.
What happens after I finish my radiation treatments?
When the treatments are complete, you will be given a one month appointment to see the Radiation Oncologist. X-rays and/or blood work may be ordered before your check up appointment. The doctor will continue to follow up with your care and monitor your progress through the years. Any other physicians who are involved in your overall care, such as your primary care physician or Medical Oncologist, may want to schedule follow-up appointments with you as well.