UCSF Search Toolbar
UCSF Radiation Oncology

Scheduling and Treatment

If you don't yet have an appointment you may schedule one by calling 415 353-9807. Please be ready to provide the name of your primary and/or referring physician, your insurance information, your diagnosis and the name of the physician you wish to consult with. If you don't have the name of a physician, the administrator will schedule you with a doctor based on the other information you provide.

Once you have been scheduled for your initial consultation, you may expect that your case will be treated in the following manner.


On your first visit, a staff physician and resident will consult with you and evaluate your case. They will review your x-rays and lab studies, ask you about your medical history, and perform a physical examination. Treatment options and potential side effects will be discussed and explained to you. This meeting might take several hours.


Prior to the start of your radiation treatment, the physician and a radiation therapist will perform treatment simulation. During simulation the therapist will be outlining the exact treatment areas, or fields, and taking x-rays of you to insure accuracy. Cradles or casts may be used to insure you maintain your exact position. In most cases simulation takes place several days after consultation.


The actual treatments will start several days after the simulation. The number of treatments will vary, depending on your case. The full course of treatment may take several weeks. It is very important that you receive all of the treatments that your physician prescribes, even if you are feeling better. The area to be treated will be carefully outlined and no other part of your body will be treated with radiation. You will not become radioactive. We encourage you to continue your usual daily activities. When you receive your treatments, you will not be able to see or feel the radiation beam and there is no pain involved in the actual delivery of treatment. During treatment, you will be alone in the treatment room for several minutes. However, a television camera and an intercom system allow the therapists to see and communicate with you.


Appointments for treatment are available throughout the day, Monday through Friday. You will be able to schedule your appointments with the treatment therapist. If you must be late or miss an appointment, please call (415) 353-8900 (UC Parnassus) or (415)353-7170 (UC Mt. Zion). By notifying us in advance, we can accommodate other patients. You should allow 30-45 minutes for each treatment. When you arrive for your appointment, we will try to keep your waiting time to a minimum. Occasionally, however, there may be unforeseen delays. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Follow-Up Appointments

After your course of radiation treatment is completed, you will be scheduled for follow-up appointments. It is very important that you keep these appointments. Your follow-up appointments may be scheduled either at Mt. Zion Hospital or at Long Hospital.

Night and Weekend Problems

A physician is always available on call to help you at night or on weekends. If you have an urgent problem after hours, call (415) 353-8900 and ask the answering service operator to contact an on-call physician. In case of emergency, call 911. When you get to the hospital emergency room, be sure to let the emergency room staff know that you are currently receiving radiation at UCSF.

International Patients

Visit http://www.ucsfhealth.org/adult/special/i/26752.html for more information.