Radiation therapy center in Riverside, California

The Cancer Center at Riverside Community Hospital uses radiation therapy treatments to destroy cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors. This therapy uses high-energy doses of X-ray radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation is a highly targeted therapy that is aimed at a specific area of the body or tumor site. By damaging cancerous cells via radiation, they are unable to reproduce and will begin to die off.

If you are interested in learning more about radiation treatment, you can call askSARAH at (844) 482-4812.


The Cancer Center at Riverside Community Hospital is an Accredited Cancer Center recognized by the Commission on Cancer and classified as a Comprehensive Community Cancer Program.

Targeted, precise cancer treatment

Cancer cells are sensitive, as they divide rapidly, making them vulnerable to the effects of radiation treatment. Because of the sensitive nature of cancer cells, low doses of radiation can be effective in killing them off. The surrounding, healthy tissue in the body is stronger, and as a result, radiation doses have a much less significant effect on healthy cells.

Typically, radiation therapy is delivered in small doses over the course of several weeks. By breaking up radiation treatment over time, the normal cells in the body have more time to rest and repair. Ideally, radiation is delivered directly to a tumor site so normal tissues and organs can be spared as much as possible.

As advancements in cancer treatment continue to develop, radiation oncologists can now deliver higher doses of radiation with enhanced targeting methods. This means minimizing radiation exposure to normal organs even further. Our radiation oncology department is one of the most advanced in the Riverside area and uses innovative technologies to assist in high-precision radiation treatment.

3D conformal radiation therapy

Every patient undergoing radiation therapy at our hospital will first receive a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, which is used to create a 3D image that facilitates the planning of radiation treatment. Using this 3D technology, our radiation oncologists deliver radiation beams that mimic the shape of the tumor being targeted.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

One of the latest technologies in conformal radiation is intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Taking a step toward even greater precision, IMRT allows for adjusted shaping and modifications in radiation beams as they enter the body. This results in higher radiation doses being delivered to tumors while continuing to spare surrounding tissues and organs.

Radiation therapy through stereotactic radiosurgery

Riverside Community Hospital is proud to be a leader in the Inland Empire for offering our patients going through radiation treatment access to stereotactic radiosurgery. By investing in our state-of-the-art stereotactic radiosurgery system, we provide faster, more precise radiation treatment. This technology opens up more options for patients who may have tumors in hard-to-reach areas that were previously deemed inoperable.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-invasive treatment and can be used to treat cancerous tumors anywhere in the body. During radiosurgery, high doses of radiation are delivered to tumors with extreme accuracy. Our stereotactic radiosurgery technology uses image guidance to deliver radiation beams from any direction and tracks the tumor's position constantly during treatment. Constant tracking means radiation doses are automatically corrected with any movement from the patient.

Cancers treated with stereotactic radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery is used in treating many types of cancer, including:

Benefits of stereotactic radiosurgery

Stereotactic radiosurgery offers many benefits for patients, including:

  • No need for anesthesia
  • Non-invasive, pain-free procedure
  • No need to spend the night in the hospital as this is an outpatient procedure
  • No use of rigid steel headframes, as seen with other radiation methods
  • Quick recovery period and return to daily activities

What to expect from stereotactic radiosurgery, 3D and IMRT

Stereotactic radiosurgery involves four stages:

  • Scanning — Prior to treatment, patients will undergo a variety of imaging procedures, such as computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. Imaging is focused on the tumor and is used to determine its size, shape and location.
  • Planning— After imaging, the scans will be transferred to our treatment planning system, which uses software that generates a treatment plan. The plan will determine the desired radiation dose to a tumor, while minimizing any damage to surrounding healthy tissues. The patient does not need to be present for this process as our clinical team will develop this plan of care.
  • Treatment — On the day of the stereotactic radiosurgery procedure, the patient lies on a comfortable treatment table that will automatically adjust their position. Treatment normally lasts 15 to 30 minutes, with an entire course of treatment spread out between one to five visits. Anesthesia is not needed.
  • Follow-up — After the procedure, additional imaging is performed to evaluate the tumor's response to the dose of radiation that was received.

Stereotactic radiosurgery: frequently asked questions

When trying to understand all options for cancer treatment, it is important to have answers to all of your questions. Below we have outlined some common questions we get asked about stereotactic radiosurgery.

There are several reasons a patient may prefer stereotactic radiosurgery to other forms of radiation oncology, including factors such as:

  • Accuracy — Radiation beams delivered via stereotactic radiosurgery treat cancerous tumors with pinpoint precision. This is made possible by the radiosurgery system's ability to automatically synchronize imaging, beam shaping and dose delivery. Additionally, internal accuracy checks are performed every ten milliseconds during the entire treatment.
  • Enhanced imaging — By using 3D imaging technology, images can be fine-tuned to enhance tumor targeting before and during treatment.
  • Motion compensation — For tumors that may be subject to respiratory motion, such as lung tumors, this treatment provides respiratory gating, which monitors and compensates for the tumor's movement during treatment. Radiation beams are only activated when the tumor is in the optimal position for treatment.
  • Non-invasive — Stereotactic radiosurgery requires no surgery, no incision and no postoperative healing.
  • Speed—Treatment times are fast without sacrificing precision. This allows patients to have a more comfortable treatment experience and get back to daily life as soon as possible.

Does stereotactic radiosurgery expose people to radioactive substances?

Often when people hear the term radiation, they think of radioactive substances. However, no radioactive substances are used in the linear accelerator (radiation delivery machine) or stereotactic radiosurgical system. During treatment, radiation is produced in the form of high-energy X-rays aimed directly at cancer cells.

What side effects can be expected from stereotactic radiosurgery treatments?

Most patients do not experience many side effects related to stereotactic radiosurgery.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Riverside Community Hospital is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (951) 788-3463.