latest in medical and information technology will complement the talented staff
at the Benesse Oncology Center. The center will be equipped with the most
technologically advanced information management system available. This system
will store our medical charts and images, allowing our facility to be a
paperless and film less environment. Patients seeking treatment will benefit from
the latest advancements in imaging, radiation delivery and treatment planning
hardware and software which will place our facility at the forefront of cancer
treatment centers nationwide.
The treatment process begins with 3-dimensional imaging in a state-of-the-art
high-speed CT simulator that will feed its high resolution images directly into
our treatment planning computers. The radiation oncology staff can then
determine the size, shape and mass of the cancerous area and gain a clear
understanding of what vital structures surround the tumor. With this
information, the radiation treatment plan can be formulated to minimize the
radiation doses given to the healthy tissue. With our new technology, this
planning can be done "virtually" without the patient present, decreasing the
amount of time the patient is actually on our procedure table.
After treatment planning, patients will be treated using a medical linear
accelerator which emits the radiation treatment. Radiation therapy is one of
three tools, along with surgically removing cancerous tissue and treating cancer
with chemotherapy, that are used by physicians to treat patients with cancer.
The radiation used in cancer treatment is a high-energy form of X-rays that
damages the genetic material inside of cancer cells making it impossible for
these mutant cells to reproduce and ultimately curing the disease. Radiation
treatment is localized to only specific cancerous areas.
Over half of all patients battling cancer will require radiation treatment to
eradicate cancerous tissue. Prior to Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
technology, patients would receive a broad beam of radiation that would hit
tumors, and all other tissue in its path with a high dose of radiation. A
patient's body would not only have to overcome the cancer itself, but would also
have to repair the healthy tissue damaged by the radiation. That was an added
physical burden for a patient who may already have had surgery and chemotherapy
to contend with.
IMRT is "smart" radiation that uses a "dose painting" technique to give the
appropriate amount of radiation in a more precise pattern to beat the cancer and
spare the rest of the body. Cancer patients will be saved much of the side
effects of radiation therapy, while being able to use one of the most effective
treatments against cancer. IMRT technology has shown increased probability of
cure for patients, since higher dosages of radiation may be given more
IMRT is showing very positive results for treating cancer in the breast,
prostate, head and neck, central nervous system, lung and liver. The Smart Beam
IMRT from Varian Medical Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of integrated
cancer therapy systems, will be available at the Benesse Oncology Center.