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Your guide to radiation oncology

We understand that undergoing radiation treatment for cancer can be difficult for patients and families. This section helps you prepare for treatment and understand what is involved.

The video to the right help explains how radiation works. 

Our goal is to provide the highest level of care with the finest technology, while also treating every patient as an individual.



Visit with your radiation oncologist

Your first appointment is a visit with the radiation oncologist. This is the doctor who oversees your radiation treatment. The radiation oncologist may ask for you to undergo imaging and other diagnostic procedures to learn more about how to best treat your cancer. These tests can include X-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scans, biopsies and blood tests.


These procedures determine the exact size, shape and position of the area to be treated within the body, known as the treatment site. The radiation oncologist uses the images to plan your treatment.

Treatment planning

In treatment planning, we plan and verify the areas we will treat. To create a treatment plan, we determine the best technique to be used, and calculate the position, dose and frequency of the treatment.


Most patients are treated on an outpatient basis, and come in daily from home. We also provide treatment for patients while they’re in the hospital, if necessary. Patients usually receive treatment every day Monday-Friday for up to eight weeks. We also offer specialized treatments such as SBRT, brachytherapy, and Gamma Knife that last from one to 10 treatments.

To receive radiation treatment, you lie on a couch under the machine. The treatment is painless; you cannot see or feel radiation. It is important that you follow the treatment plan; missed treatments may make a difference in your success.

  • Learn how our linear accelerator works by viewing the video at the top of this page.
  • Learn more about Gamma Knife.

During the treatment process, we take images of the treatment site to verify the patient’s treatment and to make sure that the treatment beams are accurate.


Once you complete your treatment, you will attend follow-up clinics for up to five years. These visits help you manage any side effects and monitor the disease.

How to reach the doctor after hours

 A radiation oncologist is available after hours and weekends or holidays to answer questions or concerns about the treatment. To speak with the provider on-call, please call the radiation oncology department where you are receiving treatment (see below).


Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center
Good Samaritan Building 3 (Comprehensive Cancer Center)
1130 N.W. 22nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97210
1-800-889-2607, press 1 (toll free)

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center
24950 S.E. Stark St.
Gresham, OR 97030
1-800-889-2607, press 3 (toll free)

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center
Medical Office Building A, Suite 100
2121 N.E. 139th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98686