How Linear Accelerator Technology Can Reduce Cancer Treatments

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More than a year after being installed, Backus Radiation Oncology’s linear accelerator is being used in new ways to help patients fight cancer.

In operation since last July, the new equipment uses a higher, more targeted dose of radiation for small tumors in various parts of the body. These precisely delivered doses mean fewer treatments.

“Because we’re targeting such a small area, we give a high dose and are able to spare some of the normal tissues surrounding the tumor,” said Dr. Susan Kim, radiation oncologist at Backus Hospital.

Recently, Backus began offering stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), a non-surgical radiation therapy used to treat small tumors of the brain.

Dr. Kim says the new linear accelerator has been particularly helpful in treating lung cancer patients. With the help of low dose CT scanning, which detects early stage lung cancer in high risk patients, the new equipment can effectively treat patients who aren’t surgical candidates.

“We are seeing many more Stage 1 lung cancer patients thanks to the early detection and we can start this treatment before the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes and elsewhere,” Dr. Kim said.

Radiation therapy manager Chad Crane said the new technology is great news for patients.

“Prior to this technology, patients in the East region would have to go to Hartford to get this quality of care,” Crane said.

To learn more about cancer services at Backus Hospital, click here

 


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