Skip to main content

Radiotherapy planning appointment

Before treatment begins, patients need to attend a planning appointment. This is a special CT scan that is done for measuring purposes with the patient lying in the position they will be treated in. This scan will be used with information from previous CT scans and MRI scans to plan and ensure treatment is accurate and aimed at the precise area needing treatment.

Usually within a week of consenting for radiotherapy, a CT planning appointment will be arranged. For certain treatments, specific instructions may be given that need to be followed before attending this scan. The instructions need to be followed to avoid any delays.

A planning visit can take from 45 minutes to a few hours. Therapeutic radiographers will explain the procedure on arrival. Patients are shown to a changing cubicle to remove clothes and change into a hospital gown. A dressing gown can be brought from home if this is preferred to wearing a hospital gown. Only clothes and jewellery in the treatment area will need to be removed.

Mould room

The mould room is an area that makes masks or moulds to help keep the area being treated still during treatment. Some patients will need to attend the mould room before the CT scan to have a mould or mask made. A mould or mask is often used for patients having treatment to their head, neck, arms or legs. It is very important that the position in the CT scan is the same position for treatment to ensure accuracy.

Patients that are having their skin treated often only have a mould room appointment. A mask/mould is made for use during treatment but will not require a planning scan.


It is also extremely important that patients are not pregnant, nor become pregnant during their course of radiotherapy. Even a small amount of radiation may damage an unborn baby. Please speak to a member of the radiotherapy team if you have any concerns or suspicions that you could be pregnant before any radiation exposures are given on the CT scanner or treatment machine.

Patients having radiotherapy are not radioactive and it is safe for pregnant relatives to attend the radiotherapy department.


Radiation may affect pacemakers, so please let staff know if you have a pacemaker fitted. Monitoring will then be organised throughout radiotherapy treatment.

Last reviewed: 05 March 2024