Category Archives: Acceletronics

The People Behind the Installation of a Linear Accelerators


Purchasing a linear accelerator takes a great deal of planning, an experienced team to pull it all together, and a commitment to purchasing a quality piece of equipment.  The planning process, as previously stated includes:

  • Understanding the goals of your clinic
  • Facility Planning
  • Schedule
  • Budget

In this installment we will look at the team of experts that you will need as you go about purchasing and implementing treatment using a large scaled piece of radiation therapy equipment such as a LINAC.  Putting an experienced team of experts in place starts by involving individuals who share a similar vision for the facilities project.  A unified group of professionals who will communicate with one another throughout the project.  This team should include: vault designer/construction, provider of the LINAC, physics support, IT team, and the facilities clinical team for implementation.  Choosing the best players for your team ensures success.  It is your responsibility when making a purchase of this magnitude to perform due diligence every step of the way.

Vault Designer/Construction

Only a specialist can design and construct a vault that is capable of safely accommodating a linear accelerator.  Not every construction company can create this safe space, it requires experience.  Having a reliable company, with proven results in your corner will not only save you money but also critical time as you begin planning the installation of your linear accelerator.

Linear Accelerator Provider

Not all LINAC and radiation therapy equipment providers are the same.  Don’t purchase equipment based solely on the basis of price as this is not the true cost of owning a linear accelerator.  It is crucial, whether you are purchasing a new, refurbished, or used linear accelerator that you work with a company that provides the necessary specialized installation and support needed throughout the ownership of the equipment.  Vendors such as Accelectronics, that can complete sales, delivery, installation, servicing, replacement parts, and removal provide reliability and accountability that many companies cannot compete with. 

Physics Support

Successful treatment and patient outcomes only can occur when a continuous quality assurance program is in place.  This group must have the tools and knowledge needed to make sure the installation and implementation of said equipment in your facility will be successful.  This can include but is not limited to the assurance that you are offering the best possible treatment, to ongoing FAQ support.

IT Team

The hardware and software of all types of medical equipment is ever changing, the same is true of radiation therapy equipment such as linear accelerators and CT scanners.  An IT team must be in place to ensure that equipment is kept up to date with the latest upgrades.  They also must understand the overall impact to the facility a new piece of equipment such as a LINAC will have.  Different systems must work together.  It is up to your IT team to implement this network in order to have successful patient outcomes.

Implementation

Once the other pieces of the puzzle are in place including technology, the clinical implementation team will work together to ensure the best treatment plans are delivered to patients. This team includes: in-house therapists, physicists, and dosimetrists.  This team is in place to guarantee an optimization treatment from beginning to end.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Buying used and refurbished linear accelerators can save medical facilities a great deal of money.  This is fairly critical when it comes to the limited budgets that growing healthcare centers face.  The question most often asked is about the HV (high voltage) hours, beam hours, and how important their role is in determining the wear and tear of a LINAC

The most universal analogy comes down to the mileage of a used vehicle, the more miles usually means more wear and tear.  The higher the mileage, the less you should expect the resale value to be.  Beam hours are very similar.  Beam hours are equivalent to the time that the beam has been in use.  Thus, higher HV hours often means that these machines will be priced lower than LINACS with lower beam hours.  This of course assumes all other things are equal.

In reality a dozen factors go into determining the price facilities will pay when purchasing a used linear accelerator.  These include factors such as manufacturer, age of LINAC, updates to software/technology, and upgrades to the machine.  The chart below offers a reasonable explanation to what facilities should expect in regard to beam hours.

Expected Time Until Machine Replacement/Major Refurbishment
5 years 10 years 15 years
Patients Seen Per Day 10+ 2000 Beam Hours 1500 Beam Hours 1000 Beam Hours
<10 3000 Beam Hours 2500 Beam Hours 2000 Beam Hours

On the top you will see a number that reflects the years a used machine is expected to be in place at the new facility.  When a facility is getting started, doesn’t expect to see a lot of patients, and expects to have a higher revenue to purchase equipment in the next couple of years a used LINAC with higher beam hours is acceptable to be purchased.   However, if this same facility hopes to hold onto the machine for an extended period of time or expects to see a high number of patients, they should re-evaluate the number of acceptable beam hours that can be on a used LINAC. 

Situation: A health care center looking into adding a cancer treatment center to an already booming facility.  They are expecting that as they make available this new treatment option that their revenue will increase.  They also expect that as patients become aware of the option for treatment the number of patients, they can expect to see should be higher than they are to begin with.  They want to purchase a LINAC without having to replace it for about 10 years.  What amount of beam hours should they be looking for on a used LINAC? 

This facility, because they are assuming, they will see a high number of patients for treatment as the word spreads that they are offering LINAC treatment should assume that in time they will be seeing more than 10 patients a day.  Even if they start out slow at 5 patients a day now, it is assumed that they will be treating upwards of 15 or more eventually which will average out.  Because they want the equipment to last at least 10 years this facility should only be looking at LINAC systems with between 1000-1500 used beam hours anything with more than that will not serve the purpose for the volume of patients they are expecting or the years that they wish to use this piece of medical equipment.

Another thing a facility needs to consider is how often IMRT and VMAT treatment will be used.  These two types of treatment options consumer more beam hours.   This should be considered when looking into a used LINAC.   

This illustration should be used only as a guideline.   With proper, regular maintenance, servicing, and parts replacement, used/pre-owned linear accelerators can last for years even with a high number of beam hours. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Radiation Therapy: Two Common Photon Treatments


There are several common types of radiation therapy that are used in treating cancer today.  Radiation therapy is classified according to the type of radiation particles or waves that are used in treatment which include: photons, electrons, or protons.  The most commonly available treatments using photons and electrons.  In this installment we will look further into treatments using linear accelerators, LINAC, and CT Scanners, in the treatment of cancerous tumors.

3D Conformal Radiation Therapy

3D conformal radiation therapy is a method of treating cancer that uses CT imaging, Cat scan-based, in the treatment of cancerous tumors.  In 3D conformal radiation therapy, the tumors and organs are well-defined 3D images as opposed to flat images that are gotten from x-rays.  Tumors are outlined in three dimensions on a CT scan. Healthy organs are defined as well when scans are performed so that technicians can see areas that need to be avoided. 

Radiation beams are then organized in the best possible way to avoid healthy organs while delivering the highest dose of radiation possible to the cancerous tumor.  Patients are placed in the same position as they were when their CT scan was performed.  This allows for accurate placement of beams according to the scans that were obtained. 

Special software is used that calculates the total amount of radiation that will be delivered to the tumor and normal tissues to assure that the tumor is sufficiently covered in radiation while healthy tissues and organs receive as little radiation as possible.   The radiation beams are adjusted even further based on the software’s calculations to give healthy doses of radiation while being manipulated into varying positions and shapes as defined by the tumor.  Radiation beams are directed using one of two types of machines: Cerrobend blocks or multi-leaf collimators. 

Cerrobend blocks are individually shaped to form specific, custom-made shapes that create the correct beam for treatment.

Multi-leaf collimators are skinny, metal blocks that move independent of one another in a quick, swift manner to form complex patterns to shape radiation treatment beams.  They are commonly used in IMRT.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is another form of delivering photons in the treatment of cancerous tumors with the possibility of lowering the dose of radiation delivered to non-cancerous tissues.  Planning for IMRT begins in a similar fashion as 3D conformal radiation therapy in that it starts out with simulation.  The tumor and organs are all outlined and shown as three-dimensional objects. Several beams of radiation are situated at varying points around the person in order to deliver the optimal amount of radiation. In IMRT, the beams are divided into a grid pattern.  The large radiation beam is split into numerous smaller beams known as beamlets. 

Software is used to establish the appropriate pattern to break the beamlets down into from the larger beam to prevent radiation targeting healthy tissues while delivering the optimum radiation to the cancer.  The multi-leaf collimators often form more than fifty different shapes during radiation treatment.  The main advantage to this type of radiation therapy is that the patterns the beamlets form are precise and the radiation controlled.  IMRT is often utilized when cancerous tumors are in positions that are difficult to treat. 

Often tumors that are directly adjacent to or wrapped around normal healthy organs, IMRT is used.  Intensity modulated radiation therapy reshapes the radiation in the best possible way to avoid normal organs while delivering large doses of radiation to the tumor.  IMRT is used commonly in the treatment of head and neck tumors where there are many other significant structures and organs that are near the tumor such as the spinal cord.

The one downside to IMRT is that it can take longer to plan and deliver treatment than other 3D conformal therapy.  Radiation can also be a bit more uneven as well because of the small beamlets that are being used.  Although normal organs are out of danger of high doses of radiation larger number of normal organs receive low doses of radiation which can be a disadvantage.  As of today, low doses of exposure to radiation are unknown.  Tumors must continually be monitored for movement and shrinkage to ensure that radiation is being delivered to the cancer. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Brachytherapy: Answering Questions You May Have About Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy.  Unlike other types where an external radiation machine known as a linear accelerator is used brachytherapy uses radiation that is implanted close to the cancerous cells. In brachytherapy radiation is implanted within your body as close to the cancerous cells as possible.  A higher dose of radiation therapy can be given in a shorter amount of time than with types of external radiation therapy.

Brachytherapy is not delivered through external radiation therapy but instead the radioactive materials are delivered using a hollow tube(catheter).  The radioactive materials are implanted directly onto the cancerous tumor.  The implants that are used can be either temporary or permanent. This form of radiation therapy allows treatment to be delivered to the cancer cells without damaging the normal tissues close to the cancer. 

Doctors use brachytherapy when they have decided that your best treatment option is a higher dose of radiation delivered directly to the cancer.  External radiation offers lower doses of radiation than brachytherapy can. Higher doses of radiation are often needed for cancers such as: brain,breast, cervical, ovarian, head, neck, and lung. 

How does implantation work?

Implantation of the radiation can be delivered in two ways:through an outpatient procedure or another which requires general or local anesthesia and a stay at the hospital.   

How much time is needed for brachytherapy?

 The time needed to perform brachytherapy depends on whether it is being done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, the type of radiation therapy to be used, and the nature of your cancer.  Internal radiation therapy can be done through the course of three to five treatments when done on an outpatient basis for a few minutes over a number of days while other types of internal radiation therapy is left in place for up to a week and requires a hospital stay during this period of time.

Should side effects be expected?

Although you will most likely avoid side effects during treatment you may feel some discomfort. Having a catheter put in place can cause tenderness.  If you are given anesthesia when the catheter is implanted you can feel nauseous, weak, and drowsy.  Medicine can be prescribed that allow you to relax while relieving your pain.  If you experience any burning, excess sweating, or any other symptoms that seem unusual to your physician.

What happens when the actual implant is removed?

After the implant is removed the surrounding area can become sensitive for a bit although regular activity can be resumed when you feel ready.  As with any procedure it is important to allow your body to rest, so you can fully recover after treatment.

If you have a permanent implant installed rest assured, it will safely stay in place.  Once the radiation is completely gone the capsule in which it is contained will become inactive and no longer providing radiation.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale. More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy.  Unlike other types where an external radiation machine known as a linear accelerator is used brachytherapy uses radiation that is implanted close to the cancerous cells. In brachytherapy radiation is implanted within your body as close to the cancerous cells as possible.  A higher dose of radiation therapy can be given in a shorter amount of time than with types of external radiation therapy.

Brachytherapy is not delivered through external radiation therapy but instead the radioactive materials are delivered using a hollow tube(catheter).  The radioactive materials are implanted directly onto the cancerous tumor.  The implants that are used can be either temporary or permanent. This form of radiation therapy allows treatment to be delivered to the cancer cells without damaging the normal tissues close to the cancer. 

Doctors use brachytherapy when they have decided that your best treatment option is a higher dose of radiation delivered directly to the cancer.  External radiation offers lower doses of radiation than brachytherapy can. Higher doses of radiation are often needed for cancers such as: brain,breast, cervical, ovarian, head, neck, and lung. 

How does implantation work?

Implantation of the radiation can be delivered in two ways:through an outpatient procedure or another which requires general or local anesthesia and a stay at the hospital.   

How much time is needed for brachytherapy?

 The time needed to perform brachytherapy depends on whether it is being done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, the type of radiation therapy to be used, and the nature of your cancer.  Internal radiation therapy can be done through the course of three to five treatments when done on an outpatient basis for a few minutes over a number of days while other types of internal radiation therapy is left in place for up to a week and requires a hospital stay during this period of time.

Should side effects be expected?

Although you will most likely avoid side effects during treatment you may feel some discomfort. Having a catheter put in place can cause tenderness.  If you are given anesthesia when the catheter is implanted you can feel nauseous, weak, and drowsy.  Medicine can be prescribed that allow you to relax while relieving your pain.  If you experience any burning, excess sweating, or any other symptoms that seem unusual to your physician.

What happens when the actual implant is removed?

After the implant is removed the surrounding area can become sensitive for a bit although regular activity can be resumed when you feel ready.  As with any procedure it is important to allow your body to rest, so you can fully recover after treatment.

If you have a permanent implant installed rest assured, it will safely stay in place.  Once the radiation is completely gone the capsule in which it is contained will become inactive and no longer providing radiation.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale. More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

What is a Linear Accelerator and What Does it Do?

Linear accelerators, LINAC, are used in the treatment of cancer.  High energy x-rays (electrons) are shaped to conform to the size and shape of the patient’s tumor and delivered using a LINAC.   The radiation, simply put, is used to destroy cancerous cells.  They are delivered in the shape of the tumor to hopefully eliminate damage to the healthy tissues surrounding the cancerous tumor.  A LINAC offers several built-in features, depending on the model, that make sure that the prescribed dose of radiation is delivered.

If radiation has been scheduled and will be delivered using a linear accelerator your radiation oncologist will work in conjunction with both a radiation dosimetrist and medical physicist to create a treatment plan that is uniquely designed for you.  Your physician will review your treatment plan with you before it begins and put quality assurance procedures in place to be certain that all parties involved are on the same page and that your treatment will be delivered in the exact same manner.

What is linear accelerator equipment used for?

LINAC, which is short for linear accelerator, is a large-scale piece of medical equipment used in external beam radiation treatment.  Radiation is a treatment option that is given to patients that have been diagnosed with cancer.  Linear accelerators are used to treat a variety of cancers throughout the body.  The LINAC distributes high-energy x-rays (electrons) directly on to the cancerous tumor.  The treatment is deployed in a manner that allows the healthy tissues to receive less of a direct hit than the tumor to help prevent damage.  Several techniques are used when delivering radiation from LINAC systems including:

  • Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
  • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)
  • Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
  • Stereotactic Body Radio Therapy (SBRT)

How does a LINAC work?

Microwave technology is used in LINAC to speed up electrons within the wave guide (a part inside the linear accelerator).  It then lets the sped-up electrons to strike a dense metal target to produce the high-energy x-ray that is delivered to the cancerous tumor.  Before the radiation (high-energy x-ray beams) are delivered they are shaped into custom beams that match up with the patient’s unique tumor.

Radiation beams are manipulated into the shape of the tumor as they exit the LINAC by a multi-leaf collimator.  The multi-leaf collimator is uniquely designed to each patient and is integrated into the head of the LINAC.  Patients are required to lie completely motionless on a treatment couch.  In order to make sure that the patient is in the correct position laser are used as guides.  The couch that patients are lying on can be manipulated about to make sure the laser beams are in the correct location.  radiation beams are directed out of the LINAC through the gantry.  The gantry revolves around the patient on the couch.  Radiation can literally be delivered from any number of angles simply by rotating the gantry on the LINAC and moving the couch that the patient is lying on.

Who runs the LINAC?

Radiation therapy is prescribed by a patient’s radiation oncologist.  They are the individual in charge of making sure you receive the appropriate dosage of radiation.  Together a medical physicist and dosimetrist decide how the prescribed dose of radiation will be delivered and how long the process will take.  Finally, a radiation therapist will operate the LINAC to give the patient the prescribed dose of radiation treatment.

How is the patient’s safety guaranteed?

The safety of the patient and the radiation therapist are of utmost importance and therefore secured in several ways throughout treatment.   Before treatment is carried out a unique plan is created.  This strategy is evaluated and approved through a few specialists working together including your radiation oncologist, radiation dosimetrist, and medical physicist.  The proposal is double, and triple checked before treatment can be delivered and quality-assurance procedures are done to make sure that the therapy is delivered according to the plan.

LINAC safety is also another important factor in quality assurance.  Linear accelerators have several built-in features that work to ensure a proper dose of radiation is given.  Daily equipment checks are performed on linear accelerators.  Radiation therapists check to ensure radiation intensity is uniform throughout the beam.  Monthly checks are performed by medical physicists monthly and annually on linear accelerators. There are also several internal checks within the LINAC that don’t let the machine run unless all the prescribed treatment requirements are in place.

Radiation therapists continue to observe the patient during treatment using closed-circuit TV monitors.  A microphone is in place within the treatment room to allow patients and therapists to speak during treatment.  Imaging tools are regularly examined to be sure that beam position is the same as it was in the original plan.

The LINAC operator is crucial as well.  Linear accelerator equipment sits within a room that consists of lead and concrete walls.  This prevents radiation beams from exiting the treatment room.  LINAC systems only release radiation when it is turned on so the accidental risk of exposure to radiation is low.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Maintenance Programs For Small and Large Scaled Medical Equipment Facilities

Once installed medical equipment, such as linear accelerators, CT scanners, and other large scaled radiation therapy equipment must be properly maintained to ensure accurate results.  Regular maintenance and service improves the longevity of equipment and increases equipment reliability.

More often than not, health care facilities do not have the budget to maintain an in house equipment care team, instead services on equipment is outsourced.  Medical equipment is specialized, and sophisticated, biomedical engineers are responsible for the services performed to ensure they are done properly, in a timely fashion, and by qualified service professionals.

There is a complexity in managing and properly maintaining large scaled medical equipment, such as linear accelerators.  This complexity exists for several reasons including:

  • The specialization of equipment throughout medical facilities
  • The integration of medical equipment and electronic networks
  • The increase in requirements for compliance, safety, reliability, and accuracy
  • The need for outsourcing medical equipment maintenance and repair

It is crucial that these elements are all focused on during the maintenance of facilities medical equipment inventory.  This ensures equipment is maintained at the right time and application.

One way that biomedical engineers keep up with the intricacies of each unique piece of equipment is by using historical data for reference and through overseeing equipment audits.  This allows professionals to analyze their management programs to improve efficiency and compliance all while decreasing costs.

Health care professionals should establish baselines on their equipment.  Each facility is a different size and offers varied levels of technology.  This is why it is inaccurate to use dollars spent as a comparison.  Smaller, more budget conscience facilities may be required to purchase refurbished linear accelerators over brand new to stay within their facility’s financial requirements.

A better measurement to use is a program’s cost of service ratio.  This measurement accounts for technology and the expense of maintenance, the ratio helps determine the financial effectiveness of an equipment maintenance program.  This ratio is found through the division of total annual costs of operations by the initial cost of procuring equipment.  Establish a goal that provides your company direction on reducing costs while increasing overall efficiency.

Medical equipment maintenance programs of the past have been based on an as needed basis for repairs.   Equipment is not maintained and instead breakdowns are addressed as equipment breaks.  Newer methodology involving medical equipment maintenance is time, predictive, and conditioned based to a new risk-based process.    Prevention and corrective maintenance are now concerned with scheduled activities and repairs when equipment is out of service.  This maintenance method prevents the ability to set service intervals based on useful data.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Planning for and Purchasing a Linear Accelerator

A lot of different aspects go into the purchasing procedure of equipment used throughout medical facilities, health clinics, and hospitals.  Unlike other business, hospitals are not only looking for equipment that is affordable, they are searching for equipment that provides clients with effective treatment, precise results, and quality care.  In order to do so, the purchasing team of the facility must work in conjunction with physicians and critical care staff to plan for new equipment purchases.

Planning & Understanding Your Clinical Goals

Critical personnel must understand the clinical goals of the clients.  Right from the start it is important that all facility members involved recognize the types of patients that will be treated, and the technology needed to deliver top notch radiation therapy to them.  Is important that you are fully automated and digital?  Does the facility need to consider EPID, Electronic Portal Imaging Device?  Will images of tumors be taken on a daily or less frequently?  If you will be then an IGRT solution must be selected.  It is also important to know how the tumor will be defined for treatment.  Are you going to need a multi-leaf collimator with leaves (MLC)?  Answering these questions will help your facility narrow down your exact need and the piece of equipment that will fill these needs.

Another crucial element in planning for a new piece of equipment, especially one as large as a linear accelerator, CT scanner, or other radiotherapy equipment is the location in which it will be installed.  In new construction you will have to consider the machines that are to be places now as well as technology that will be used in the future.  It will be crucial that the building has room for expansion for further equipment purchases as well as the technology appropriate for today’s need.  When renovating an existing space within the facility it is important to consider all of the constraints present such as shielding.

Having an established timetable for any project, especially the installation of LINAC systems, is the only way to successfully manage a successful health care facility when the normal flow could be disrupted.  Of course, it also helps prevent common sense issues such as having a space that is ready for equipment when it is delivered to be installed, set up, programmed, and ready for hands on training.  What good is a piece of equipment it is sitting in the hallway unable to be used?  It is important for facilities and personnel to establish a timetable for each milestone along the way, including a completion date.  There are many moving elements, including a number of experts, when installing a large scaled piece of equipment.  To prevent IT specialists from arriving before the equipment is ready for them to complete software installation and such, a timeline is necessary.

Once a clinical goal and time table have been set, now comes the time to create a budget for the acquisition of your new equipment.  Once a budget is set you will know if you should look into new, refurbished, or used equipment.  Quality refurbished linear accelerators and reconditioned CT scanners are ideal when working within a budget.  Prices vary for a number of reasons including: the age of the equipment, features, technology, and manufacturer.  When budgeting for large scaled equipment make sure to allocate for additional products and services that will be needed to use them successfully.  Radiation therapy includes large scaled equipment such as linear accelerators but also patient positioning devices and the such.  It is just as important to budget for the extras as it is the initial piece of equipment.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Radiation Therapy: Everything There Is to Know About Radiation Therapy and More

There are several treatment options that are available to patients after a cancer diagnosis has been received.   Radiation therapy is an option for treating cancer, thyroid disease, non-cancerous growths, and blood disorders.  The benefit of radiation therapy is that it can be confined to specific areas where the tumor is.  It is targeted treatment that has a devastating effect on its target.

Whether your treatment is curative or palliative, radiation is an effective option.  It is important to understand that although radiation therapy is used in treating cancer it is also used for treatment to certain inflammatory conditions and benign tumors.  In this installment we will focus more on the application of radiation therapy as treatment for cancer.

Quick Facts on Radiation Therapy

  • In order to stop cancer cells from growing and dividing, radiation therapy delivers intense energy waves to the targeted area. Not only does radiation therapy stop cancerous cells from growing, it works to kill cancerous cells, slow cancerous cells growth, and shrink cancerous tumors in order to allow surgical oncologists to remove left over tumor.
  • There are side effects to any cancer treatment including radiation therapy. One of the biggest side effects of radiation is the effect it has to the healthy tissues surrounding the areas around the tumor.  Treatment to healthy tissues is minimized as much as possible however this does not mean that it will be left unaffected.  Most of the side effects to the healthy tissue or local to the area and are short term however other side effects like fatigue can occur throughout your body.
  • In order to make sure that radiation is placed in the correct location, radiation therapy goes through a simulation process before it is actually administered to an actual patient.

Radiation Therapy Is…

A linear accelerator is the most common piece of equipment used to administer external beam radiation therapy.  Linear accelerators deliver waves of energy in the treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.  The form of radiation delivered using LINAC systems is known as ionizing radiation, a high-energy type of radiation.  The radiation breaks up the DNA of the cells in a manner that disturbs their ability to cultivate, even causing complete destruction, death.

Radiation therapy can be used on its own or in combination with other forms of treating cancer such as chemotherapy.  Only your cancer specialist can determine what option of treatment will be best for your specific type of cancer.  Radiation therapy is used as a form of treatment in over 60% of patients that are being treated for cancer within the United States.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Different Options in Treating Cancer

There are many methods used in the treatment of cancer.  Oncology physicians will work with one another to determine the best treatment combination to treat your unique cancer situation.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs are a type of poison that is given via injection directly into the blood stream.  Some chemotherapy treatments can be taken by mouth, all to treat and reduce the size of cancerous tumors.  Chemo is the treatment options that is most common when dealing with metastatic cancers such as, Carcinoma of Unknown Primary, C.U.P., that have spread throughout the body.  When your treatment includes surgery as well the term Adjuvant Chemotherapy will be commonly used.  This refers to medicine that is given after surgery to prevent reoccurrence.  Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy refers to medicine that is given prior to surgery to shrink tumors.

There are a number of chemotherapy options that can be used in treating cancer.  To be effective it must be tailored to the primary site of cancer.  Every patient and every cancer will require a different, specialized treatment plan.  Often times a combination of treatments needs to be used in order to fully treat cancer.  Chemotherapy is often used as one piece in combination to treat cancerous cells.

Radiation Therapy

Radiotherapy uses beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells.  Beams of radiation are aimed at precise areas where cancerous cells are located in order to shrink or eliminate the tumor.  Radiation is delivered using linear accelerators.  Linear accelerators can deliver high powered radiation beams directly to the tumors while missing the surrounding healthy cells.

Radiation therapy is used as both a curative and palliative treatment.  Curative treatment seeks a long-lasting cure and reduction of cancer cells returning.  Palliative treatment seeks to reduce and slow down the symptoms being experienced with the cancer when there is no chance of curing the patient.  When determining your radiation treatment, doctors will look at the size, type, location, shape, and stage of the tumor, as well as the health of the patient and overall purpose of treatment.  A plan will be developed and executed according to a strict plan.

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy uses sex hormones to treat hormone sensitive/dependent cancers like breast, prostate, and womb cancers where the cancerous tumors and cells grow because of estrogen and testosterone. Hormone therapy is often used in combination with other treatments.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy works in an effort to replicate the persons actual immune system to reject and destroy cancerous cells.  This can be done through “immunization” in which a patient own immune system is trained to see cancerous cells and destroy them.  It can also be administered in a way that recruits the patients own immune system to kill the cancerous cells.

Surgery

When it is possible, surgery is the best option at offering a cure for most cancers however is not appropriate for CUP patients.  Surgery is most often used in treatment when the primary site of cancer is identified.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Radiation Therapy: Goals and Understanding

High-energy x-rays or particles used to destroy cancerous tumors and cells is known as radiation therapy.  A number of doctors specialize in treating cancer.  A radiation oncologist is the specialist that is trained to deliver radiation therapy to treat cancer.  The team of cancer specialists treating you and your cancer will develop a radiation schedule that delivers radiation at consistent intervals over the course of a set time period.

Radiation Therapy Goals

The goals of treatment using radiation is to slow the growth of cancerous tumors and destroy cancer cells without causing permanent damage to the surrounding healthy tissues and cells.  Most often doctors will recommend radiation therapy as the first line of treating cancer.  It can also be given with great results after surgery or chemotherapy.  When this is done it is known as adjuvant therapy.  This targets the “leftovers”, the cells containing cancer after the initial treatment.

Sometimes it is not possible to destroy all of the cancer.  If this is the case with your cancer specialists will use radiation to shrink the tumor to relieve the symptoms.  This is known as palliative radiation therapy.  In palliative therapy treatment is done to reduce the pressure, pain, and symptoms of cancer.  It is done to create a better quality of life for the patient.  If palliative therapy is done it is not done necessarily to cure the cancer but instead to increase the quality of life after diagnosis.

If you are diagnosed with cancer there is more than a fifty percent chance that you will receive a form of radiation therapy in treating your cancer.  Many forms of cancer react better with a combination of treatments such as radiation therapy with surgery, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy.

Using a Linear Accelerator

The most common delivery of radiation therapy is external-beam.  This consists of radiation being delivered to the patient using a machine known as a linear accelerator from the outside of the body. This machine creates a beam of radiation that is delivered through the skin directly to the cancerous tumor.   Specialized computer software is used in conjunction with LINAC to adjust the size and shape of the radiation beam specific to each patient’s tumor.  Targeting the exact shape and size of the tumor and cancer cells allows radiation oncologists to avoid healthy tissues that sit near the cancerous cells.

Treatment is normally given every day, Monday – Friday, for several weeks.  If treatment is to be given to the head, neck or brain, a form-fitting support or plastic mesh mask is used to prevent the patient from moving during radiation therapy.

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