What to Expect
As a non-invasive treatment, proton therapy may allow patients to remain relatively active during and after their treatment.
Before you come for your first consult, Provision must collect your medical records to fully evaluate your treatment options. Many patients will automatically qualify to be scheduled for consult based on their diagnosis. All other patients will have their case presented at our case review where all of our specialists gather to determine the best course of treatment for patients. After case review, we will contact you to schedule your next appointment whether it is with Provision or one of our campus partners.
While we are gathering and reviewing your medical records, we have a team of individuals dedicated to making the process as convenient as possible. This includes a financial team who works to make sure your treatment is covered by insurance. They are available to work with you before consult should you have any questions or concerns. We also have a Patient Experience team that can help organize travel and housing accommodations if you are coming from outside the Knoxville area.
After you have been scheduled for consult, a Care Coordinator will send you a link to our online patient portal where you can complete registration paperwork prior to your appointment. This saves you time at your initial consult and provides you your medical records, educational materials, and functions as a communication tool so you can contact our staff whenever you have questions.
On the day of your first consult, you should plan to arrive 15 minutes early if you have completed your registration on the patient portal, or 30 minutes early if you have not. As you enter our the facility, the Patient Concierge at the front desk will greet you and make sure that you are fully registered and the Clinical staff have been alerted to your arrival. Once you are brought back to the consult room, you will meet with your nurse who will do a standard new patient assessment. This includes a historical assessment, medication reconciliation, risk assessments, general radiotherapy education, and more. If you would like, a family member, caregiver or significant other may accompany you to the consult room. Then you will meet your doctor who will perform a physical exam and discuss your treatment options. After your medical consult, you will have the opportunity to meet with our patient experience, financial services (insurance), or clinical trials team. If you would like to meet with one of these teams at consult, please inform your Care Coordinator when you first contact us to have a consult scheduled.
After your consult, the next step is to get scheduled for treatment. For prostate patients, there are a series of appointments that include an MRI, placement of fiducial markers, and a treatment planning CT. These appointments can be scheduled on the same day or on separate days depending upon patient needs. For your convenience, we can schedule these appointments after your consult before you leave the center. After your imaging appointments, the doctor and dosimetrist will work on a treatment plan specifically for your care. This usually takes around 5-10 business days but can take longer for especially complex cases. As you are completing the CT appointment the therapist assisting you with the CT will let you know your estimated start date and ask for you for your preferred consistent daily treatment time. The therapy team will call you with specific start date, time, and instructions once your treatment plan is approved. Your first treatment appointment will occur on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. From here, the treatment begins. Daily treatments range anywhere from 15 – 45 minutes (prostate treatments take 15 to 30 minutes) and will typically continue for 4-8 weeks. The therapist will walk through the daily process of treatment and answer any questions you have when they call you to schedule your first treatment appointment. Prior to beginning treatment at Provision, all patients will have the opportunity to attend an orientation lunch where more specific information about what to expect during treatment is provided.
Upon discharge, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment for you to return. For all our patients, we advise continued follow-up with your specialist and/or primary care physician.