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Radiation Oncology

Location / Hours / Phone

Cancer Treatment Center
220 Oyster Point Blvd., South San Francisco, CA 94080

Monday – Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm

Advice / Appointments

Radiation Oncologists

Radiation oncologists are the doctors who will oversee your radiation therapy treatments. These physicians will work with you and your other doctors to determine what type of radiation is appropriate for you. Once the best course of therapy has been determined, they work with the other members of the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and to ensure that treatments are given accurately. Your radiation oncologist will work with the nurses, therapists, and your other physicians to monitor your progress during treatment and help manage any side effects that develop.

Radiation oncologists have completed at least four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of general medical training, and four years of residency (specialty training) in radiation oncology. They receive extensive training in cancer medicine and the safe use of radiation to treat disease.

Radiation Oncology Nurses

Radiation oncology nurses work closely with radiation oncologists and radiation therapists to care for you and your family during your radiation treatments. Beginning with your initial consultation, they will provide help with education, symptom management, coordination of care, and emotional support. Your nurses will teach you about the radiation experience. If side effects develop, your nurse will work with you to lessen them and to make you feel more comfortable. The nurses are available to answer you and your family’s questions regarding radiation treatments.

Radiation oncology nurses are licensed registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. Many registered nurses in radiation therapy have additional accreditation in the specialty of oncology nursing. Advanced practice nurses, including clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, have completed a master’s degree program.

Radiation Therapists

Radiation therapists administer the daily radiation treatment under the doctor’s prescription and supervision. They maintain daily records and regularly check the treatment machines to make sure they are working properly.

Radiation therapists go through a two- to four-year educational program following high school or college. They take a special examination and may be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. In addition, many states require radiation therapists to be licensed.

Medical Radiation Physicists

Qualified medical physicists work with the radiation oncologist and dosimetrist during treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and help ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored to each patient. Medical physicists are responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures. Their responsibilities includes making sure the treatment equipment works properly by taking careful measurements of the radiation beam and performing other safety checks on a routine basis.


Dosimetrists carefully calculate the daily dose of radiation to make sure the tumor gets enough radiation. Using computers, they work to develop a treatment plan that can best target the tumor while sparing normal tissue. Since treatment plans are often very complex, dosimetrists work with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Many dosimetrists start as radiation therapists and then, with very intensive training, become dosimetrists. Others are graduates of one- to two-year dosimetry programs. They are certified by the Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board.

Social Workers

Social workers are available to provide a variety of supportive services to you and your family. They can provide counseling to help you and your family cope with the diagnosis of cancer and with your treatment. They may also help arrange for home healthcare and other services.

Nutritionists/Dietitians Nutritionists or dietitians work with patients to help them maintain their diet during their treatments. They will help you modify your eating plan if the side effects of treatment are affecting your appetite or ability to eat. They will work with you to determine what you can eat and can provide recipes, menu suggestions and information on ready-to-use nutritional supplements.

Other Healthcare Professionals

You may work with a number of other healthcare professionals while undergoing radiation therapy. These specialists will work to ensure that all of your physical and psychological needs are met during your treatment.