The Patient Pathway

2. Orientation

At the treatment planning appointment a patient care specialist (nurse or radiation therapist) will explain the procedures in more detail and answer any concerns that you might have about ARO or your treatment.

Before starting treatment, we gather specific information, and may need to make customized equipment and markings to ensure we deliver the best treatment possible. 

You may have had imaging done previously. In the planning stage we require imaging specifically for planning your treatment. This includes having a Computed Tomography (CT) scan. Other scans may also be required e.g. MRI and PET. Sometimes special preparation is required, this will depend on the site for radiation therapy. 

Please scroll down to resources to download information about special instructions required by radiation therapy site.

This appointment may take a few hours. Your treatment schedule will be confirmed once your treatment planning is complete. In most cases, your treatment will start within 1-2 weeks after your planning appointment. This may vary depending on the complexity and customisation of your treatment. Please allow 30-60 minutes for each subsequent treatment visit.

CT Scan

You will be allocated a time to have a treatment planning Computed Tomography (CT) scan, in most cases this will be done on site at Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO). Sometimes you may be required to have a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan; in any case we will be in touch prior to your treatment planning appointment with more detail on how to prepare for this.

Please follow the instructions from your radiation oncologist with regard to eating, drinking and taking medication prior to this appointment. There are detailed instructions relating to this at the back of this booklet. 


With your permission, very small permanent marks (about 1mm in diameter) may be placed on the skin in the treatment area. This allows us to correctly position you for treatment each day.

To ensure accuracy throughout your treatment at ARO it may be necessary to make a device that helps you keep still, for example if your radiation therapy involves the head or neck area we’ll need to make a special mask. This device is made at the time of your scan.

Remember to bring:

  • Current ID
  • Current medication

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