Together: A Better Way To Fight Cancer
Riverside Radiation Therapy Center is part of The US Oncology Network, which has more than 1,400 affiliated physicians with expertise in medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, urology, oncology surgery and other specialties at more than 400 sites of care in 26 states, treating over 1.1 million patients annually. The Network provides strong and comprehensive practice management capabilities and value-based care expertise that are critical for practices navigating today’s challenging healthcare landscape. The Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health, an industry leader in solutions that empower the community patient care delivery system to advance the science, technology and quality of care.
We treat cancer by creating an environment of wellness surrounding the patient with exceptional medical professionals, vast clinical expertise, and technical resources. We become part of every community we serve and work with other organizations to bring awareness and education to those affected by cancer.
6939 Palm Court
Riverside, CA 92506
- Contact Information
P: (951) 683-6771
F: (951) 683-7450
Janet Hocko, MD
Janet Hocko, MD joined Valley Radiotherapy Associates Medical Group in December, 2006 and is the Medical Director in Riverside. Dr. Hocko is board certified in Radiation Oncology. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of California Irvine. She completed her residency and internship at Loma Linda University Medical Center and was an Assistant Professor there for many years.
Dr. Hocko’s treatment specialties include brachytherapy for gynecological malignancies. She has a special interest in radiation therapy for breast, gastrointestinal, and lung malignancies.
Medical School: UC Irvine
Internship: Loma Linda University
Residency: Loma Linda University
• The American Board of Radiology
• Riverside County Medical Society
• ASTRO - American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
• American Medical Association
• Los Angeles Radiological Society
Susanna R. Gordon, MD
Dr. Gordon is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies with a sub-specialty in hepatobiliary tumors; thoracic malignancies, soft tissue sarcomas, and lymphomas. She has extensive experience in the treatment of squamous and basal cell carcinomas of the skin and ocular (uveal) melanomas. Dr. Gordon is highly trained in several modalities of radiation therapy including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy for hepatobiliary tumors. Prior to joining Riverside Radiation Therapy Center, Dr. Gordon held positions as Medical Director in Radiation Oncology at St. Mary's Medical Center in Jefferson City, MO.
As a medical student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Dr. Gordon had the unique opportunity of working with highly respected instructors and clinicians. As a resident and Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at UCLA, she was mentored by some of the most distinguished Radiation Oncologists in the country and internationally.
Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine
Residency: Department of Radiation Oncology of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine
• The American Board of Radiology
• ASTRO - American Society for Radiation Oncology
• Los Angeles Radiological Society / Southern California Radiation Oncology Society
• AWWR - American Association for Women Radiologists
What is Radiation Oncology?
Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, involves the use of ionizing radiation to treat many forms of cancer. It can be delivered both internally and externally. The goal of all radiation therapy is to give the tumor a lethal dose of radiation while limiting the exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue. When treating with radiation, sophisticated dose calculations are made in order to contour the shape and intensity of the beam or the internal dose precisely to the targeted area. Radiation is a painless treatment and side effects are localized to the treatment area.
There are many forms of external radiation delivery systems. Traditional equipment delivers 3D conformal and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which can create high dose volumes that are concave in shape and spare normal tissues that are close to and surrounded by the tumor.
During each field of treatment, the dose delivered is contoured by the multi-leaf collimator (a device that consists of a number of moving fingers or leaves), that position themselves dynamically in order to block portions of the primary beam and create a desired shape. Other systems that support IMRT include Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), which involves mapping the internal organs, treatment area and nearby structures using 2 and 3-D imagery so that the clinician can make adjustments for more accurate targeting.
What to Expect - Initial Consultation
At the time of consultation, the radiation oncologist will review your records, X-rays, scans and other test results and perform a physical examination. He or she may decide that additional tests are needed and will discuss that with you. The radiation oncology nurse will work closely with you and the radiation oncologist during the initial consultation.
If the radiation oncologist believes that you will benefit from radiation therapy, a treatment plan will be presented to you during the consultation, based on the results of the evaluation.
Developing a Treatment Plan
Once you and the physician decide to go ahead with the proposed radiation therapy plan, treatment planning begins. A treatment plan, which is a collection of measurements, imagery and dosing calculations, will be developed specifically for each patient so that the post treatment results are the best that they can be. This custom-made plan is influenced by overall health, type and stage of cancer. It also takes into consideration information from other specialists. You will undergo a special CT or PET scan called a simulation. The imagery and information acquired during the simulation will allow the physician to target the tumor and avoid the other organs and healthy tissues nearby. The treatment will take place daily over several days or more. To ensure that you are in the exact same position for every treatment, specialized equipment may be used to help hold you in place. Small temporary ink marks may be drawn on the skin to assist the therapists with body alignment. You will have an education session with a nurse before treatment begins. During this session, you will receive advice on self-care during treatment, proper eating habits, ways to avoid infection, skin care protection, what to report to the physician/nurse, sources of support, and an overview of the clinic. Once treatment begins, you will be assessed by the nurse and /physician per protocol. The nurse is often the first line of communication for our patients.
Starting Daily Treatments
When the planning is complete, you will be treated with one or more machines that will deliver the radiation to your prescribed location. These technologies generate high energy x-rays or electrons that destroy tumor cells. Other systems are designed to deliver radiation through the use of isotopes and catheters. Radiation therapists, who are certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), administer the daily treatment under the supervision of the Radiation Oncologist. They record and document treatment progress and run tests on the treatment machines daily to ensure that they are working properly. Most radiation treatments are given five times a week, Monday through Friday.
Care during treatment
Most people undergoing radiation treatment are able to continue with their normal activities. Some may need to adjust their level of activity temporarily during treatment if recommended. Patients are encouraged to check with their doctor before starting any exercise or fitness program during this time. Good nutrition during therapy is essential to promote healing and recovery and the oncology nurse or nutritionist can help determine the best approach. The patient is weighed regularly during radiation therapy to monitor health and any weight loss. Patients should do their best to eat a normal, well-balanced diet with three or more regular meals. Smaller, more frequent meals and snacks may also be suggested. Patients should also consult with their doctor about the use of multivitamins and other dietary supplements. Nutrition information is also available through the oncology nurse
Post Treatment Care and On Going Support
Once you have finished a course of treatment, follow up care instructions will be reviewed and you will return for follow-up appointments. These may involve blood work or imaging to determine the outcome of the treatment. Due to the multi-disciplinary team approach used to treat cancer patients, other physicians may also be involved in your follow-up care (i.e. medical oncologist, other specialists, surgeon and primary care physician).
- 3D Conformal Radiation Oncology
- 3D Ultrasound Imaging
- CT Scanning & Simulation
- Electron Beam Therapy
- External Beam Radiation Therapy
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
NEW PATIENT CHECKLIST
The patient portal allows patients to manage their personal health information electronically at their own convenience.