Finding out that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer can be one of the scariest moments of your life.
It can be hard to be optimistic.
However, new technological developments in cancer treatment are helping more and more people to treat their cancer effectively and live longer, more fulfilling and healthier lives than ever before.
When most people think of cancer treatment, they probably think of radiation and chemotherapy.
Although these methods are still the mainstay of treatment for many types of cancer, the technology used to implement them has changed a lot. Everyone is unique, so it makes sense that everyone’s cancer treatment is unique.
When cancer treatment is personalized, specialized and focused, patients are more likely to cope with the specific form and severity of the disease.
One of the best examples of new technology in cancer treatment is a new procedure called ChemoID.
With ChemoID, oncologists are more likely to use the chemotherapy drugs that are most effective for certain cancer patients.
With ChemoID, doctors take small samples from a patient’s tumor.
These samples are then used to grow bulk tumor cells and cancer stem cells. By testing these cells with different chemotherapy drugs, doctors can determine which drug is most effective at killing most of the cells.
By ensuring that the most effective chemotherapy drugs are used before treating a patient, doctors can avoid the painful, troublesome, and prolonged use of chemotherapy.
Instead, patients receive treatment that will help them with their specific cancer, which can produce faster and more dramatic positive results.
ChemoIDs can also help patients save huge amounts of money that would be wasted on drugs that don’t help them much.
New technologies in cancer treatment have also changed the way doctors and patients treat radiation.
Many people are aware that radiation therapy affects and even damages healthy body parts near cancerous tumors.
Advances in technology have reduced many of these hazards, making radiation a safer and more effective form of treatment.
A linear accelerator is a treatment device used to irradiate a cancer patient’s body and organs after an oncologist prescribes an appropriate dose.
This machine produces high-energy X-rays in the shape of the patient’s tumor.
When radiation is emitted into the tumor, other lasers in the patient’s vicinity prevent it from moving enough to affect the accuracy of the X-ray.
Intensely Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a special type of radiation therapy that uses a linear accelerator platform.
In IMRT, a computer-controlled linear accelerator directs a high dose of radiation in a controlled and appropriate volume and size at the patient’s tumor.
Although this radiation is very powerful, the technology behind IMRT also minimizes damage to the tissue surrounding the tumor.
This allows doctors to use higher radiation doses more effectively and fight cancer without endangering the patient’s health.
Currently, IMRT is widely used in patients suffering from prostate, head and neck, and central nervous system cancers.
Another new technology in cancer treatment is image-guided radiation therapy (IMGT), which also uses linear accelerators.
IMGT allows for more precise radiation treatment because it uses technology that can detect the size and shape of tumors in the body.
This is especially useful because tumors can move and change position as a result of normal body functions.
Some tumors present in lungs, liver, prostate, and important organs, are often more metastatic than others.
With IMGT, patients can be irradiated without damaging surrounding healthy tissue, even if the tumor has spread.
The development of radiotherapy does not stop here.
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy uses a device called a boar CT simulator that helps oncologists quickly create a three-dimensional map of the tumor and surrounding tissue.
Another technology, called high-dose brachytherapy, uses a catheter to direct radiation to cancer cells, allowing a direct dose to the tumor.
Until you find out that you or someone close to you has cancer, it is never easy.
The development of new technologies in cancer treatment can bring hope to those suffering from causes of physical, emotional and spiritual pain.
There are effective and personalized ways to help people recover and live healthy and full lives.