What to Expect

What to Expect

If your oncology team recommends proton therapy, you’ll need to plan ahead for a course of treatment that will typically cover a period of four to eight weeks. Your planning should include considering where you’ll live during this time—if you live beyond a commuting distance to Seattle. 

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) makes available short-term rental housing for patients. For more information on housing opportunities in Seattle, visit our Housing Options section

Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning

Prior to treatment, you’ll meet with your radiation oncologist and nurse to discuss your treatment plan. You’ll also meet other members of your care team at the SCCA Proton Therapy Center, who will work with you throughout your entire course of treatment—and remain involved during follow-up care. We urge you to use this time to get answers to any remaining questions you may have about proton therapy. 

Before treatment begins, you’ll also be asked to come to the SCCA Proton Therapy Center, located on UW Medicine's Northwest Hospital & Medical Center campus, for a computed tomography simulation (CT) scan. This imaging will be used by your medical team to precisely map out your tumor and customize your treatment plan. 

Your radiation oncologist will determine the length of treatment and exact dosage appropriate for your specific needs. Once your personal treatment plan is completed, you’ll be contacted by a radiation therapist on your care team to schedule your appointments for proton therapy. Most patients are scheduled to receive therapy five days a week, excluding weekends and holidays, for a period of four to eight weeks.