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Treatment for Head & Neck Cancer

Radiotherapy

 

  Radiotherapy involves the treatment of cancer with radiation. The radiation used is similar to that used to take an X-ray picture but is more penetrating. Radiation is directed to the specific area of the body where the cancer is, with the aim of destroying cancer cells whilst avoiding the healthy cells. As with all treatments, radiotherapy can cause side effects and these are discussed with the patient before a course of treatment begins.

  

  In our cancer unit, the majority of consultants use a daily treatment regime. This requires the patient to attend for radiotherapy daily  Monday to Friday for several weeks. Each treatment is relatively short, lasting on average fifteen minutes.

  

  Treatment is completely painless. Radiotherapy does not make you radioactive  and you will be able to mix freely with family and friends. Your treatment team of therapy radiographers will be able to discuss any areas of concern.

 

  The radiotherapy service is supported by a team of expert medical physicists and dosimetrists. (A dosimetrist is a member of a radiation oncology team who specialises in the operation of radiation equipments and calculations of dosages in cooperation with oncologists)

 

  RapidArc has proved to be a great success. It delivers radiotherapy faster and with a greater level of accuracy than previous linear accelerators. Linked to a unique tumour mapping system, the RapidArc travels around a patient targeting tumours from 360 degrees in just two minutes, rather than 20 minutes of exposure with older systems. It delivers radiation, following the contours of cancers, in one rotation giving better coverage of the tumour volume with far less damage to nearby healthy tissue.

 

 

 

 

Copyright N Kalavrezos 2013

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