According to data from the World Health Organisation 262 445 South Africans are living with cancer, as of the 2020 Global Cancer Observation. From this staggering number of cancer patients, 13.4% of these instances are cases of brain cancer.
One of the most common treatment options or supplementary treatment options for various cancer types is Radiotherapy. Radiotherapy uses high-energy particles or waves, such as X-rays to destroy or damage cancer cells. Modern radiation techniques exhibit precision by directing focused beams specifically at cancer cells, safeguarding surrounding healthy tissue from elevated levels of radiation exposure.
More than half of all patients with cancer receive radiotherapy. When specifically looking at brain cancer, radiation is typically used as a supplementary treatment post-surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells or relieve symptoms created by the tumour. In some cases, radiation is used as the primary treatment, when the brain tumour is situated in an inoperable location.
The benefits of Radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer include:
· Highly effective at killing the majority of cancer cells within a tumour.
· It may be the only treatment needed for small tumours, benign tumours and early-stage cancers.
· It kills isolated cancer cells that surgery could not detect.
· It shrinks tumours to make surgical removal more effective. Shrinking tumours with radiation can make surgery possible for formerly inoperable tumours.
· Treatment is painless.
· It reduces symptoms caused by cancer.
· It increases the patient’s quality of life by preventing organ removal, such as a breast or part of the digestive tract.
· Radiation may stimulate the body to develop an immune response to the tumour.
As with any other medical procedure, the equipment being used plays a vital role in the outcome of a patient’s health. Especially with treatments such as radiation, where the inaccurate use of equipment can lead to further health issues. Companies, such as Brainlab specialise in developing medical equipment and technology to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of patients’ treatment options. Solutions, such as their ExacTrac Dynamic Radiotherapy device is an excellent example of medical equipment and technology being used to improve patient care and outcomes.
This radiotherapy solution from Brainlab is acclaimed for its exceptional effectiveness and numerous benefits in the realm of cancer treatment. This advanced system harnesses cutting-edge technology to deliver precise and targeted radiotherapy for various types of brain tumours. Its dynamic capabilities enable real-time monitoring and adjustments during treatment sessions, to accommodate for patients’ adjusting their position or possible movement caused by patient breathing. This ensures optimal accuracy in irradiating cancerous cells while minimising radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. The suite’s integration of image-guided radiotherapy enhances treatment outcomes by providing detailed, high-resolution images to your oncologist for precise treatment planning. Additionally, the ExacTrac Dynamic contributes to improved patient comfort and reduced treatment times, ultimately enhancing the overall quality of care in the fight against cancer.
Compared to traditional radiotherapy technology, the ExacTrac Dynamic only targets tumours and cancerous cells rather than contaminating the entire organ being treated, with radiation. This provides patients with added peace of mind knowing that their treatment won’t be causing them any additional harm.