Frequently Asked Questions

Many patients have similar concerns about receiving radiation treatment:

  • Am I going to feel sick?
  • Will I lose my hair?
  • Does it impact my tennis or golf game?
  • Will I experience sexual dysfunction?
  • Is it painful?

A: No, in all but a few cases there is only minor discomfort that can be addressed through medication.
These concerns and others will be discussed in your initial consultation. 

What is Golden Gate Cancer Center?

A: Golden Gate Cancer Center was founded by physicians for patients with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer treatment now has many different options and patients needed a center that focused on increasingly complex technical therapies. We brought together experts in surgery, radiation oncology, and pathology to do just that.

Are you part of a hospital?

A: Golden Gate Cancer Center is intentionally not linked to a particular hospital, but we have formal relationships and admitting privileges with most local hospitals.

What are the characteristics of a typical patient?

A: Most obviously, all of our patients are men. Almost all of the patients have prostate cancer, but we also treat testicular and bladder cancers.

Can I expect much down time from treatment?

A: Treatments are given M-F, 5 days a week for several weeks depending on your disease and condition. The treatment takes 90 seconds and you feel no sensation when treated, though the time in the center is typically 10-20 minutes.

Will my primary doctor be involved?

A: Your primary care doctor is a critical part of your care team. Treatment is always coordinated with your other health care providers to ensure that your other medical conditions are well monitored.

How do I make an appointment?

A: You can call us directly at 415-541-0800 or ask you primary care physician to arrange for a consultation. You can also use our contact form. We will need your pathology report (usually from either a biopsy or a surgical procedure). A PSA history is also helpful to customize your treatment regimen.

How do I communicate special needs I have as a patient?

A: Many of our patients have disabilities, financial limitations, or transportation issues related to getting care. We have arrangements with organizations like the American Cancer Society and services like public shuttles, which can be coordinated through our staff.

Is parking available?

A: Yes, we have complimentary valet parking for all of our patients. Simply pull up to our front entrance for assistance.

Which insurance carriers do you work with?

A: We have contracts with most insurance companies, and we are continually adding to our list. Plus, we are often able to get pre-authorization for our patients from insurers not on that list.

Here’s a partial list of our insurance companies:

  • Aetna
  • Alta Bates Medical Groups – IPA
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Brown and Toland Medical Group
  • Chinese Community Health Care Association – IPA
  • Cigna
  • Coventry/First Health/GEHA
  • Fortified
  • MediCare
  • MediCare/Railroad
  • United Healthcare

Can I communicate in a language other than English?

A: Our staff speaks many languages, including all dialects of Chinese, Hindu, and Spanish. We also arrange for translators who speak other languages when necessary.