Welcome to DGMC's Joint Radiation Oncology Center -- the JROC. The mission of our joint Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs center is to deliver highly effective and compassionate cancer care using state-of-the-art radiation therapy techniques and equipment. We believe that the key to excellence in cancer care lies in working closely with colleagues from other disciplines and in helping patients understand the services that they are going to receive.
We emphasize competence, communication, and compassion in all of our patient interactions. At the same time, we focus uncompromisingly on safety, innovation, and effectiveness when utilizing radiation.
Our courteous and professional staff includes:
- Two Board Certified Staff Radiation Oncologists
- Two Board Certified Medical Physicists
- One Board Certified Medical Dosimetrist
- One Registered Nurse
- One Licensed Vocational Nurse
- Six Radiation Therapists
- Three Administrators
Our department recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation and equipment upgrade. We now have two state-of-the-art radiation therapy machines capable of delivering radiation in an extremely precise way. As a result, we currently offer Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy, Image-Guided Radiation Therapy, and RapidArc™ therapy which are novel and extremely sophisticated methods of delivering high doses of radiation to tumors while sparing surrounding normal tissues.
We have also begun selective stereotactic brain and body radiation (radiosurgery and SBRT) treatments which will enable us to deliver a few high doses of radiation with extreme precision, thus significantly shortening overall treatment times for patients. Our long-term plans include the acquisition of low- and high-dose rate brachytherapy which will allow the implantation and insertion of radioactive seeds directly into tumors. We are continuously adding to our selection of national and institutional clinical trials to ensure access to the latest and most innovative treatment strategies for our patients.
What Patients Can Expect
After the consultation (initial evaluation) with the physician, the patient is scheduled for a simulation or a planning session during which a special CT scan is performed. Subsequently, the dosimetrist and the physician outline the target to be treated and arrange the radiation beams accordingly. Using a complex and powerful computer program, the dose to various structures is then computed, after which the physicist performs a variety of quality assurance checks on the treatment machine to ensure that the machine output matches the planned dose from the computer. This planning process takes 1-2 weeks to complete depending on the complexity of the individual treatment plan.
Patients will then begin their individualized radiation treatments which can last anywhere from a single day to eight weeks in duration. The actual radiation is delivered over an average of 5-15 minutes, however, specialized immobilization and position verification imaging are also performed, which can additionally prolong the daily treatment sessions. Patients typically arrive at the same time every day and receive their treatments Monday through Friday.
Throughout their treatment, patients will be closely monitored by the radiation oncologist, the nurses, and the therapists for side effects and their symptoms (if any) will be carefully managed. Additionally, our team will help to coordinate any needed chemotherapy with our colleagues from medical oncology. Finally, on their last day of treatment, patients will be scheduled for a follow-up visit to occur approximately 4-6 weeks from completion of radiation.
New Patient Referral Information
Who We See:
We see all active duty and retired military members and their beneficiaries of all ages. In addition, we service VA patients from the Northern California Region. However, as a specialty clinic, we can only see patients that have been referred to us by their Primary Care Manager/Clinic, their Surgeon, or their Medical Oncologist. Due to our limited staff and the high number of new referral requests that come to our clinic, appointments for certain types of diseases may be booked beyond a few weeks of the initial referral request.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to appointment. We follow DGMC's No-Show policy and reserve the right to cancel a patient's appointment if they are more than 15 minutes late for their appointment. Patients may be asked to fill out a few questionnaire forms upon arrival. All initial visits to the Joint Radiation Oncology Clinic will receive a full exam that may require changing into a gown. Head and neck cancer patients may also have to undergo flexible fiberoptic endoscopy during their initial visit. Prostate, Gyn, and certain GI cancer patients may also require a more invasive pelvic exam.
General Administrative Information:
All initial appointments are generally booked directly through our clinic front desk. Referring physicians or patients may call us directly at (707) 423-7691. Alternatively, we may receive consultation requests by fax at (707) 423-7697. In most instances we require copies of the latest pathology and imaging reports before consultation.
Useful Patient Links:
- American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
- National Cancer Institute
- National Comprehensive Cancer Network