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Fighting Cancer with Radiotherapy

Jan 31, 2008
Cancer research programs are growing each year as funding increases. New technologies make even recent discoveries obsolete and doctors and scientists contribute their ideas and methods to understanding and curing cancer. As they continue to make these important strides toward finding prevention methods and moving towards a cure, more treatments are becoming available, and fewer people are being forced to endure painful and invasive treatments.

Radiotherapy usually requires non-invasive cancer surgery that allows doctors to direct radiation beams into precise locations of the brain in order to focus it directly over a malignant tumor. This method can help treat and remove intracranial tumors that would otherwise not be very accessible for open surgery techniques.

Electing radiotherapy as an option over more invasive routines is a matter of choice and convenience for some patients, but is more likely to be a necessity for patients with certain types of brain tumors that are not easily accessed through open surgery -- such as skull base tumors.

Radiotherapy often utilizes an instrument called the Leksell Gamma Knife, which concentrates gamma radiation to the targeted portion of the patient's brain. The radiation is so concentrated that, while some residual radiation will inevitably exists, the vast majority of it is focused onto a much smaller area, therefore degenerating the affected area and leaving the rest of the brain un-effected. The Leksell Gamma Knife form of radiotherapy has been known to work with as little as one treatment.

Using stereotactic radiotherapy, a popular method which uses a three dimensional coordinate system to focus the gamma radiation onto the targeted areas of the brain, doctors can essentially target extremely small affected areas of the brain, with very little risk to the remainder of the brain. Radiation therapy of this type uses the Gamma knife as the main source of radiation while two smaller, and weaker radiation beams are aimed from different angles, meeting at the area around the tumor, subsequently dosing the area with a high level of radiation which, hopefully, destroys the tumor.

Doctors across the U.S. specialize in wide varieties of radiation oncology options, including radiotherapy. These highly specialized Oncologists practice locally across the United States and offer patients with a myriad of radiotherapy options that fit the needs of each patient individually.

These doctors strive to deliver a healthcare experience that maintains each patient's pride and dignity and to create an environment that is conducive to healing.
About the Author
Art Gib writes for Vantage Oncology (http://www.vantageoncology.com) an Oncology network specializing in non-invasive radiotherapy techniques. Their radiation oncology professionals remain on the cutting-edge, providing patients with immediate access to the latest, most advanced treatment options.
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