What to Expect

Initial Inquiry & Patient Registration:

Intake coordinators are the point of contact to answer questions and provide information. The intake team will ask for basic contact information and insurance coverage specifics. Intake coordinators start the new patient process by gathering medical information and pertinent details. Once the necessary records are received, including imaging, a medical consultation is scheduled.

*If the patient has an HMO insurance, he or she will need to request an authorization for a consult at Texas Center for Proton Therapy from their primary care physician. Our team will help provide all the necessary information needed to request a consult authorization.

Medical Consultation:

Several days before your appointment, you will receive a packet of information with more details about where we’re located, what to expect, and what you need to bring with you. Easy directions and a map will help guide your route to our proton treatment center. If you are traveling from out of town, our patient support services staff can help you arrange travel, book lodging, and transportation. Please arrive about 30-40 minutes early to complete routine paperwork. You may also complete most forms in advance and bring them with you if you prefer.

The initial appointment (known as a medical consultation) will be with a radiation oncologist to discuss a recommended course of action. The radiation oncologist will determine treatment steps and/or refer to other specialists if indicated. This first visit will be comprehensive, so plan to spend a full day with us (sometimes longer depending on what is needed for your particular care). Your appointment may include:

  • A physical exam performed by your physician.
  • Additional testing to help us outline your treatment plan.
  • Meeting with a financial counselor to discuss your insurance coverage benefits.
  • Meeting with patient support service representatives.

Your proton therapy treatment will likely not begin at your first appointment. We will allow ample time to answer questions and to discuss next steps. We encourage you to bring a family member or friend to your appointment to join in the discussion. They may hear something you missed, think of different questions to ask, or help take notes.

Insurance Coverage:

Business office staff will request authorization from insurance for coverage of imaging and treatment as prescribed by the radiation oncologist and will work closely with the patient and physician to appeal coverage denials if necessary. Texas Center for Proton Therapy has financial counselors on staff to help answer questions about insurance and paying for care .

CT Simulation (Also Known as SIM or CT-SIM):

On simulation day the patient will go through a “dress rehearsal” with imaging. Staff will optimize patient and equipment positioning for pinpoint accuracy, fit a body mask or mold to the patient if needed, and take additional imaging as needed (PET/CT or MRI ).

Treatment Planning:

Together, the radiation oncologist, medical physicist, and dosimetrist use software programming and modeling to create a customized treatment plan according to many factors such as the patient’s diagnosis and the location and depth of the tumor. The prescribed treatment plan is tested for quality assurance prior to beginning proton therapy.

Verification Simulation (V-SIM):

The radiation staff will review the patient’s daily treatment setup and any associated details of the treatment session, including positioning and imaging information.

Daily Treatment:

Each day when arriving for treatment, the patient will check in with the front desk staff and wait to be called back by the radiation staff. A staff member will lead the patient to a dressing room where they can change and leave personal belongings in a locker. When the radiation therapy team is ready to begin treatment, they will walk the patient into a treatment room. Patient positioning and imaging is validated before each treatment to ensure accuracy. Your physician and nursing staff will provide instructions for you to prepare for your first proton therapy treatment. Timing and duration varies depending on the patient and type of cancer. A typical cycle includes daily treatments, Monday through Friday, for six to nine weeks.
Our patient support services staff can assist you with personal needs while you are here, including accommodating children and schoolwork to other family members and pets.

On Treatment Visit (OTV):

Patients will see their radiation oncologist once a week to review treatment and discuss side effects. On treatment visits typically take place after the patient’s radiation treatment is finished for that day. The patient’s radiation oncologist will provide recommendations based on the patient’s feedback and side effects. Radiation oncology nurses are also available for any clinical questions throughout the course of treatment.

After Treatment:

After treatment, patients go over post-treatment instructions and next steps with their radiation oncologist and nurse, and schedule follow-up appointments and imaging as needed.

Experience the Technology:

Our facility houses some of the nation’s most experienced, sophisticated proton technology in three treatment rooms called Hope, Courage, and Strength. Please join us for an up-close, interactive exploration of one of our rooms.

Request An Appointment

Texas Center for Proton Therapy is ready to help you fight cancer with one of the nation’s most advanced cancer-fighting technologies. You do not need a doctor's referral to be seen at the center.

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