From 35 Trips for Cancer Treatment to Just a Few
When listing the benefits of a new -cancer treatment at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, Stephen King, M.D., and his colleagues in the hospital's -radiation oncology department get -excited by what it means for their patients.
Since October 2012, the new Trilogy Stereotactic Radiosurgery Linear Accelerator has made highly effective cancer care -possible for some people who -previously would not have been -candidates for -traditional cancer surgery. It allows others to avoid weeks of radiation treatments but with the same positive results.
"Some cancers are inoperable because of their location - in the brain or spine, for example - and some patients are too weak for -surgery," says Dr. King, a radiation oncologist. "This treatment provides results that are just as good as -traditional surgery and better than other types of -radiation treatment."
Previously, patients and their families spent hours on the road traveling -elsewhere for the same therapy. Today, they can get this powerful treatment at Moore Regional.
Precise and Powerful
FirstHealth's Trilogy Stereotactic Radiosurgery Linear Accelerator is used primarily for smaller lung and brain -cancers and may be used in the future to treat the spine, liver and pancreas.
During stereotactic procedures, -physicians use computers and advanced images to position the patient accurately, so they can precisely focus the radiation. Radiosurgery refers to the use of a very high dose of radiation in a single -treatment session to destroy a tumor. The linear accelerator is the machine that -generates the radiation.
Key advances of the new equipment are its ability to focus an extremely -powerful radiation beam on a very small area - and do so with great accuracy.
"Because we can direct the beam so precisely, we're able to protect healthy tissue next to the cancerous tissue," Dr. King says. "And so, during every treatment, we're able to use significantly higher doses of radiation aimed directly at the -cancer."
With other -radiation therapies, patients might need up to 35 treatments; i.e., 35 visits back and forth from home and days of -recovery between.
"Now we can accomplish the same results in one or two super-focused treatments," Dr. King says, "and patients remain here near their family and friends. Those are huge benefits for our community."
This latest -addition to the -cancer experts' toolbox puts cancer care at FirstHealthMoore Regional Hospital on par with some of the best available anywhere. The Trilogy Stereotactic Radiosurgery Linear Accelerator is one of the most precise and powerful -radiation treatments for certain cancers.
"The leadership at FirstHealth has been extremely supportive of bringing this cutting-edge cancer treatment to residents of our region, and we're all very excited about it," says Margie Thomas, BSRT, (R)(T), Moore Regional's clinical director of radiation oncology.
"Between our specialists and all the treatment options we offer, plus clinical trials, our patients can now remain here to get the same quality of care that they would get at almost any major medical center in the country."
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