Radiation Oncology 

    Advancements Target Tumors and Protect Healthy Tissue

    Since 1987, the NorthBay Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department has provided life-saving treatment to thousands of patients from Solano, Napa and Yolo counties.  Radiation is often the primary treatment modality for cancer, although it is generally used in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or surgery.

    Our facility provides care that is designed to cure cancer (curative), care that is designed to support other treatments (adjuvant) or care that is designed simply to improve comfort and quality of life for our patients (palliative care). NorthBay’s Radiation Oncology Department offers state-of-the-art radiation therapy in an environment that’s convenient for patients and their families, and provides personalized, community-based care.

    Led by Medical Director Florian Ploch, MD, our team of radiation oncology experts uses a skilled team approach in the fight against cancer. The facility is staffed by professionals including a board-certified radiation oncologist, physicist, board-certified dosimetrist, board-certified radiation therapists, and a certified nursing staff. Each member of our staff is dedicated to creating the supportive environment that is essential to recovery.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How does radiation therapy work?  

    Does radiation therapy hurt? 

    What are the side effects? 



    How does radiation therapy work?

    With radiation therapy, a controlled beam of radioactive light is directed at cancerous tumors and cells to slow or stop their growth. The strength and angle of the beam is adjusted for each patient to protect healthy tissue and make sure the cancer receives the maximum dose of radiation.

    Prior to beginning radiation therapy, each patient’s treatment is planned and simulated based on their unique anatomy and cancer using our computerized three-dimensional treatment planning system, in concert with the CT scanner at NorthBay Medical Center. When the therapy begins, each treatment generally lasts less than 15 minutes and is painless for most patients.


    Does Radiation Therapy hurt?

    Most patients tell us that the radiation treatments themselves are painless. Some patients experience pain during the simulation appointment due to the length of the appointment and the amount of time spent on the simulation table. Your doctor may recommend you take a pain pill prior to simulation.


    What are the side effects?

    Although the radiation treatments do not cause pain, some side effects could occur. Side effects common with treatment include skin problems around the area treated, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Other less common side effects depend on the amount of radiation received and the area being treated. Our staff will tell you about any additional side effects you may experience. We also will spend time with you to help you learn ways to manage the side effects of radiation therapy. Most side effects subside about one month after the treatment is complete.