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Frequently Asked Questions


Will I be cured?
Your oncology physician will discuss details of your specific illness that will affect the outcome of your individual treatments.

Will I lose my hair from radiation?
You only lose the hair in the area being treated. You will not lose the hair on your head unless your head is the area being treated.

Will I be sick?
No. Most people do not become sick or even nauseated from radiation therapy treatments. A person whose stomach area is being treated may experience some nausea. This type of nausea is often prevented with medication.

Will I be radioactive to other people?
No. You can be near other people and they will not be affected by your radiation treatments.

Can I eat and drink?
Yes. Eating and drinking will not interfere with your treatment.

Can I have an alcoholic drink with dinner?
Having an alcoholic drink with dinner will not affect your radiation treatments. Alcohol may conflict with medications you may be taking, however, so please check with your doctor.

Will my treatment be painful?
No. The treatments do not cause pain. It's like having a simple X-ray. You should not feel any discomfort during the treatment.

How long will the treatment take?
More time is spent getting you prepared for the treatments than receiving the actual treatments, which usually take less than five minutes.

How safe are the machines?
There are many safety devices built into our treatment machines. They are fully shielded so only the treated area receives the prescribed dose of radiation. Daily machine checks are performed by therapists and a member of the physics team to ensure the machines are operating normally.

Will it burn?
No. Your skin may redden from radiation but this will not occur for a few weeks. You will be instructed in skin care throughout your treatments. Please follow these instructions very carefully. Reddened skin usually goes away after treatment is completed.

Why do I feel so tired?
The treatments may make you feel tired after a few weeks. This fatigue should improve within a month after the completion of your radiation treatments. The change in your routine and stress may also contribute to your being tired.

What if I have a problem at night or on weekends?
We are here for you. If you have an emergency situation after the normal working hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., please call our answering service at (207) 621-9400. They will contact your oncologist or the physician on call to assist you. If you need immediate care, go directly to the nearest hospital Emergency Department.

How am I charged for these services?
Patients seen in the Radiation Oncology Department will receive two separate bills:

  • Hospital
    The hospital bill covers such things as use of the rooms, machines and technical services. The hospital will bill you periodically throughout your treatment. If you have questions about the hospital portion of your bill, please call (877) 255-4680 or (207) 872-4680.
  • Physician
    You will also receive a bill periodically from Radiation Oncology Associates for physician services throughout your treatment. If you have questions about the physician portion of your bill, please call (800) 287-6034.

Insurance Information
Insurance co-payments are due at the time of your visit.

Your insurance coverage will determine your co-payment amount. We will submit your bill to both primary and secondary insurances.

If you have managed care insurance coverage, you will need a referral and authorization from your primary care physician before starting your consultation or treatments.

Financial Assistance
If you do not have insurance, case managers and social workers can help you apply for any available financial assistance.

Patients may qualify for MaineCare or MaineGeneral's uncompensated care services program.

Our CarePartners program may also be able to help.