Key Points to Consider for Linac Removal

Removing a 25,000 lb piece of machinery from a medical clinic or hospital, what could go wrong? It can be crucial to other surrounding equipment and to your facility to have safe and efficient removal services performed so that your facility will have peace of mind knowing that this process will be handled correctly. A few tips below will help this removal process go more smoothly and will get you to the goal of out with the out and in with the new more quickly.

Removal Path

To start, cleaning of any removable clutter is always overlooked and can become an obstacle that can be avoided. Measuring will be the next step to take when its time to start moving any type of equipment. A tape measurer will be your best friend since when it comes to moving high or low energy linacs, each have a minimum requirement for the number of inches required for room clearance.  Accurately measuring all building doors including the vault and outside door along the removal path is very important. Prior to the arrival or replacement equipment, a professional vendor will request a rig info sheet to be submitted to guarantee that there is no door frames or walls that will need to be removed. If the vendor does not ask about the measurements beforehand, this is a red flag that you should be looking for equipment elsewhere.

Safety Concerns

When transporting heavy equipment at any times, the safety of the removal team is of utmost importance. If the above-mentioned measurements are done inaccurately and realize that a vault door must be removed with late notice, this will pose a very big safety hazard. Depending on size, vault doors can easily weigh a few thousand pounds and unfortunate deaths have resulted when removal of these doors have been done incorrectly. When they doors need to be removed, it is critical that they are removed by professionals that have experience in the field.  Last minute decisions for vault door removal will also cut into extra expenses that was not part of the company budget so it again if very important for the measurements to be calculated right the first time. Proper liability insurance should be provided by your vendor when on site during the removal process as well.

Loading Space

Once you have the old equipment outside the next step is often overlooked as well. The loading area needs to have enough space in order to load the linear accelerator into trailer for transportation. Facilities will typically need to block off any side streets or parking spots to allow a safe loading area. If loading space is unavailable, the removal team will need to utilize a forklift of suitable size to lift and move machinery to the trailer manually.

Facility Jobs

No matter the size or details of removal that is performed, there will be responsibilities of the facility that will be requested. Generally, the removal team will ask local facility engineers, electricians, or plumbers to turn off the water or other power sources that are attached to the specific equipment that is being removed. This will protect the office building from having potentially dangerous live power to the area and helps to not disrupt any of the surrounding rooms that lighting and power may be connected to as well. Many times, the facility will manage and schedule the removal times so that it is occurring after hours or assist in security throughout the building.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Improving LINAC Service Response Time


Linear accelerators and complex support devices are at the heart of today’s radiation oncology.  As technology continues to advance and change the way in which LINAC systems treat cancerous tumors, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the way in which equipment maintenance, malfunction, and breakdowns are managed.  The strategies to manage quality, mitigate risk and analyze failures have improved to adjust to the changing needs of radiation oncology equipment. 

Manufacturers of oncology equipment add guidelines to ensure successful management of equipment maintenance including system monitoring and cyclical measurements of key functions verse pre-specified tolerances.  This information was previously documented by hand whereas in today’s environment data can be recorded, distributed company-wide, and stored electronically. IT plays an integral role in storing and managing the data which can then be integrated into the everyday workflow in the radiation oncology department.    

Work to cultivate IT clinical management solutions in the radiation department is often done in house working in collaboration with equipment vendors.  This process is an essential component in quality management of radiation oncology equipment services

Service and support of linear accelerators are a key element in quality management in the radiation oncology department.  In most facilities, radiation therapists will report all technical problems with the LINAC to a clinical medical physicist who then reports the events of the machine’s failure to the vendor’s dispatch center to schedule support.  When this call is made the therapist or physicist reporting the LINAC failure will provide the identification of the linear accelerator, the location of the machine, and a detailed report of the problem including what issues led up to the failure..

Depending on where the machine is located, the vendors dispatch center will provide information to equipment engineers at their technical support help desk.  Together the user and engineers will attempt to diagnosis the issue at hand and coordinate actions for repair. 

Facilities looking to improve the efficiency of support and service to linear accelerators when failure occurs can implement key changes in the overall process.  These procedure modifications include:

  • Lessen the number of steps involved in reporting the LINAC failure to the vendor’s support team.
  • Reduce duplication and surplus in the diffusion of information related to the linear accelerators’ failure.
  • Record events electronically for improvement and evaluation of delivering services related to LINAC maintenance and repairs.
  • Utilize remote support from vendor approved engineers that are familiar with the installed system and its maintenance and service history.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



3 Tips For Installing or Replacing a Linear Accelerator

New linear accelerators can cost a medical facility between 1 and 5 million dollars.  The expense of owning a LINAC does not stop once it has ben purchased.  There are items outside of the actual equipment purchase such as a simulator, training computers, treatment rooms, salaries, ongoing training, operation expenses, maintenance, repairs, and more.  The total cost of large scaled medical equipment is never one that should be underestimated.  Whether you are installing a brand new or refurbished linear accelerator, installing a LINAC for the first time, or replacing an existing one there are three tips the professionals at Acceletronics want to give you.

Step One – Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

The installation planning process for a linear accelerator takes between six months to eight years.  The length of time for planning your project can span almost any length of time.

  • When planning new technology, you will first want to establish the technology that you need in order to treat patients.  What types of cases will you be treating?  Consider the options IMRT, IGRT, and so on.
  • If you are installing a linear accelerator in new construction, you will want to consider the constraints that come along with that.  What local permits do you need, do you have the proper power supply needed for this large scaled equipment, are there constraints that will limit your installation?  If you are renovating a space consider the rooms constraints, size, location of isocenter and so forth.
  • Create a timeline for major milestones.  When will the vault be completed, when are vendors scheduled to install computers?  When planning these things consider potential areas where conflict can occur and come up with a backup plan.
  • Once the goals are established, a budget is needed to acquire the new equipment.  Consider other aspects as well such as training, equipment needed to run the LINAC and treat patients, and the extra items that can be forgotten about when focusing on the large scaled purchase.

Step Two – Hire Based on Experience

When hiring a team of professionals, it is crucial that you hire experts.  Experts are needed for designing the vault, construction, providers of equipment and supplies, IT support, clinical implementation teams, and such.  Don’t trade cost for quality.  Sometimes a little bit more money now can save you a great deal of money later on down the road.  Ask for references when working with different vendors.  Hire only those vendors that understand the collaboration effort needed to install medical equipment such as CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators. 

Step Three – Commit to Quality

When buying a used or refurbished linear accelerator there is a three-step process that you should follow to ensure you get a machine that meets your needs and beyond.  These steps include: a review of the LINAC’s service history (look at major service events such as waveguide replacement), review the machine’s utilization and beam hours, and perform a physical inspection of the machine. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Treating Medical Conditions With Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy is just one treatment used in the treatment of cancer.  Linear accelerators, LINAC, are often used to deliver radiation which destroys cancerous cells.  LINAC machines use high energy x-rays to deliver radiation to cancerous tumors.  This breaks down and destroys the cancer cells while trying to minimize the damage and exposure to the surrounding healthy cells.  Radiation therapy is used to shrink and destroy cancer to prevent it from spreading. 

Radiation treatment can vary a great deal depending on the type of cancer and where it is located.  Linear accelerators are just one type of machine used to administer radiation.  When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, your oncologist will work with a team of experts to determine what type of treatment is best for you depending on your cancer, its location, overall health, and medical history. 

Keep in mind when a cancer treatment plan is being created that it may involve more than one type of treatment including radiation therapy, surgery, and/or drug therapy.  The best-known type of drug therapy is chemotherapy.  This is a medication that moves through the bloodstream in order to attack cancer in the body. 

Your team of doctors, including your oncologist will prescribe a treatment plan for your unique cancer.  Often this includes a combination of treatments.  When a combination of treatments is prescribed to treat cancer, it is important to follow the order that your doctor specifies as there often is a specific order that treatment needs to be given in order to treat specific conditions. 

Cancer is not the only medical condition that is treated using radiation therapy.  Below we will highlight different diseases that respond well with radiation therapy.

  • Acoustic Neuroma

This is a tumor that is not cancerous.  It is produced when the body over produces Schwann cells.  When this occur the abundance of cells presses on the nerves that control hearing and balance within the inner ear. 

  • Arteriovenous Malformations

This occurs when a connection between the arteries and veins in the brain and spine are atypical.  When this happens there will be neurologic symptoms and bleeding. 

  • Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a growth of abnormal cells in a bone.  These cells can either be cancerous or benign.

  • Brain Tumor

Like bone cancer a brain tumor may be either cancerous or non-cancerous.  A brain tumor occurs when there is an irregular development of tissue in the brain. 

  • Chondrosarcoma

This is a type of bone cancer that is malignant.  It most often is seen in the cartilage cells of the femur, arm, knee, pelvis, or spine.  Other areas that may be affected, but less often are areas like the ribs. 

  • Chordoma

Chordoma is very rare.  It grows slower than most cancerous tumors that occur along the spine from the bottom of the skull all the way down to the tailbone.

  • Ewing’s Sarcoma

This is a type of cancer that occur in soft tissue and bone.  It is often located in extremities and can involve muscles and soft tissue close to the site of a tumor.  It is also a cancer that spreads to areas throughout the body. 

  • Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that develops in bone marrow.  This type of cancer produces three major blood cells including platelets, white and red blood cells.

  • Meningioma

One type of tumor that cultivates from meninges, the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord is Meningioma.  This is often a benign and slow-growing tumor.

  • Osteosarcoma

Most often occurring in children and young adults, this is a type of bone cancer that cultivates in the osteoblast cells which form the outer covering of bones.

  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas

This rare cancer is just one of many soft tissue sarcomas.  Soft tissue sarcomas, overall, are rare.

  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

This is a disorder in the nerves which causes pain in parts of the face that feel like a stabbing or electrical shock like pain.

There are two main types of radiation therapy that are used in treatment including external and internal radiation.  External radiation is delivered using a LINAC.  This is a machine that gives treatment outside of the body by moving around it without touching the patient.  External radiation using a linear accelerator causes patients no pain and cannot be felt during treatment. Internal radiation, brachytherapy, is radiation therapy that is used to treat certain gynecological and prostate cancers.

Information on linear accelerators, new and refurbished or parts for maintenance and repair can be found at https://www.acceletronics.com/ and https://radparts.com/.

Reasons To Look Into Purchasing Refurbished vs. New

There are many reasons that health care facilities look into purchasing refurbished linear accelerators verse new.  Most assume that refurbished medical equipment is purchased solely because it is more affordable than new however that is not the only reason to consider. 

Look into refurbished LINAC systems when:

  • Treating fewer than ten patients a day

When medical facilities are not exclusively treating patients seeking radiation using a linear accelerator there may not be the funds to support the expense.  Health care centers that treat less than ten patients a day using a LINAC benefit from purchasing a refurbished system.  A previously owned, refurbished linear accelerator is less expensive and thus the monthly expense to lease/finance is lower.  What this means for your facility is that the payment is able to be covered by the few patients being treated daily.

  • You live in a location where reimbursement rates are low

When a medical facility is located in an area where facilities need to be profitable to continue running and compensation rates are low it is important to keep expenses low.  Public clinics don’t need to worry about being lucrative however that is not the same for all health care facilities. 

  • There is not a need for the latest technologies

When a medical facility is using a LINAC system and only requires partial use of its technologies then a refurbished linear accelerator is a perfect choice.  Many veterinarians choose to purchase refurbished linear accelerators to treat pets and animals.  They don’t require all the bells and whistles found in new radiation so refurbished equipment makes sense. 

  • You are just starting out

When a medical facility is just opening, they may not have the revenue base to purchase more expensive medical equipment with the newest technologies.  Healthcare facilities that are looking to upgrade to new technology in four to seven years but need to treat patients and generate funds benefit from purchasing refurbished medical equipment.  Health care centers often want to buy brand new equipment when starting out, but it is a huge risk to invest capital that is not guaranteed in such expenses.  Pre-owned, refurbished LINAC help to mitigate the risks while allowing facilities to effectively treat patients.

  • The facility needs to move locations

When a medical facility has one linear accelerator but intends to move locations and are unable to have down-time the purchase of a refurbished machine is a good idea. Linear accelerator relocation can take upwards of four weeks so many facilities choose to purchase an identical machine to install at the new center.  When the move has been completed the equipment can be sold or kept as a backup.

  • A backup machine is desired

When a medical facility wants to ensure they are always able to treat their patients a back up linear accelerator is necessary.  This is often the case when a facility has a large patient load.  When the main LINAC is down for maintenance or repair patients can still be treated using a back up machine.  Refurbished linear accelerators are a great backup solution. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Fighting Cancer With External Radiotherapy

There are several questions that come along with a cancer diagnosis. One of the first questions that patients ask is regarding the treatment of their newly diagnosed cancer.  Patients want to know how they are going to rid their body of cancer.  The answer most often, external radiotherapy.

External radiation, radiotherapy is treatment of cancer using a machine known as a linear accelerator to directly aim radiation beams to the cancerous tumors from outside the body.  These beams are meant to shrink and/or destroy the cancerous tumor without harming the healthy tissue surrounding it.  This is different from internal radiotherapy where radiation is delivered to the cancerous tumor within the body.

Radiotherapy works through a process of damaging the DNA that exists within the cancer cells.  A patient’s personal DNA, which is genetic, is the code that controls how a patient’s body will behave during treatment.

Before a patient starts treatment their team of experts will create a plan and introduce it to the patient.  It will include several elements including the short and long terms side effects of radiation.  Most side effects are short terms and will disappear with medication and time. 

Radiation therapy begins with a wide range of tests.  These often include:

  • X-Rays
  • CT Scans
  • MRI’s
  • PET Scans

These scans and images will allow experts to develop a treatment plan that allows the highest dose of radiation to the cancer while trying to reduce the effects to the healthy tissues surrounding it.

When you are set to receive external radiotherapy you will have treatment in a radiotherapy department.  Radiotherapy machines are large and can vary.  The most common machine in delivering radiation is known as a linear accelerator, LINAC.  A linear accelerator uses an electricity to create the beams of radiation.  Patients will not feel the radiation that a LINAC gives off. There are possible side effects however these are rare. 

Radiation therapy works because it can treat the cancerous cells and the bordering healthy tissues without harm.  A high dose of therapy is given directly to the cancer and lower dose to the surrounding tissues.

Radiation is delivered in individual fractions that are smaller than the full dose.  This ensures that the healthy cells surrounding the cancer to recover between treatments.  Patients will have what is known as a series of smaller dose treatments which is known as radiotherapy fractions.

Radiotherapy is intended to relieve the symptoms of cancer including pain.  This is known as a type of palliative radiotherapy, fewer fractions and sometimes just one.  The radiotherapy dose with each radiotherapy fraction is larger but there are fewer fractions.  Overall the radiotherapy dose is lower.  Palliative treatment has a decrease in side effects and is used as a cure for cancer. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Radiation Therapy 101

There is a lot of information on radiation therapy online.  The process of delivering radiation isn’t exactly the same between facilities however it’s similar.  In this installment we will look into radiation therapy generically to provide a general overview. 

Methods For Treatment

There are a number of ways to treat cancer with radiation; the method used depends on the nature and position of your cancer.  The most prevalent method of radiation is known as external beam therapy.  This is often done using a linear accelerator from the outside of the body directing radiation to the tumor. 

Radiation therapy is known to affect both cancerous and normal cells.  Radiation has a greater effect on cancerous cells.  Treatment is given at the highest dose possible, within a safe limit, to kill cancerous cells without causing damage to normal, healthy cells.  If the goal is to reduce the size of the tumor in order to relieve symptoms or to shrink the tumor for surgery, low dosages are often used.

Radiation Professionals

Radiation therapy is planned out by a specialist cancer doctor known as a radiation oncologist.  Then radiation is delivered by a radiation therapist.  A team of specialists including nurses, health care assistants, counselors, and dieticians will work together to ensure the best possible outcome for your treatment. 

There are many benefits included in how radiation treatment is planned.  Each patient has a unique treatment plan that is designed to meet each patient’s particular need.  During the initial visit a course of treatment will be planned.  This is done using simulators, x-rays, and scans to pinpoint the tumor.  The skin will be marked to define the treatment area. 

Life With Treatments

Most individuals receiving radiation therapy will not need to stay overnight in a hospital after receiving radiation.  Therapy is done on an outpatient need unless your radiation oncologist determines that treatment would be more effective if done while admitted.

Patients are allowed to continue life as normal during their radiation treatment.  It should not cause too much interruption to your day, in fact it should be looked at as another daily routine activity.  Radiation is given using a linear accelerator which works by delivering radiation from the outside through your skin.  Patients receiving treatment lay on a treatment couch and are asked to remain completely still.

Radiation oncologists will determine the length of treatment needed when first evaluating your situation.  The course of treatment can last anywhere from a week to six and can be performed on a weekly or daily basis.  This will depend on a number of factors including the area that is being treated, the aim of the treatment, and more. Each session of radiation varies depending on the machine used.  Most sessions last between five and fifteen minutes.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

A Sampling of Different LINAC Components and What They Do

A drive stand is a large part of a linear accelerator.  It is a cabinet in the shape of a rectangle that is attached to the floor within the treatment room.  The horizontal axis bearings that the gantry rotates on are positioned within the drive stand.

Components Within the Drive Stand

  • Klystron or Magnetron
  • RF Waveguide
  • Circulator
  • Cooling Water System

Klystron:

A Klystron is responsible for the microwave power that is used to accelerator the electrons.  This process occurs through intensification of present RF (Radio Frequency) electromagnetic waves.  The basic description of the operation of a Klystron is that it is a RF amplifier. A Klystron is often chosen for LINAC needing larger amounts of electron energy.

Magnetron:

A magnetron can be used in place of a Klystron.  A Magnetron is an electron tube that is responsible for providing the microwave power to accelerator electrons. A Magnetron is often chosen for LINAC needing smaller amounts of electron energy such as 4 MeV to 6 MeV LINAC.

RF Waveguide:

The structure in which the microwave powered RF electromagnetic waves are accelerated from the Klystron or Magnetron.

Circulator:

The circulator connects the Klystron or Magnetron to the RF Waveguide.

Cooling Water System:

A cooling system is in place to prevent overheating.  It creates a stable temperature environment within the Drive Stand and Gantry.

A gantry rotates three hundred and sixty degrees around a single point.  It works by directing the radiation beam from the LINAC to the tumor without moving the patient. 

Components Within the Gantry

  • Electron Gun
  • Accelerator Structure
  • Treatment Head

Treatment Head:

The treatment head of a linear accelerator encompass the components that shape and monitor the radiation beam.  These components include bending magnet, collimator, ion chambers, tray slots, wedges, blocks, and compensators.

Modulator Cabinet:

The modulator cabinet is the loudest components of a linear accelerator.  This component is located within the radiation treatment room.  The modulator cabinet includes a fan control, auxiliary power distribution system, and a primary power distribution system.  The fan control is used to cool off the power distribution systems.  The power distribution systems include the emergency off button to shut down the power to the LINAC.

Bending Magnet:

A bending magnet is a component of a LINAC that changes the direction of the beam down towards the patient.  It bends the beam towards the target and produces different paths for the beam for different energy needs. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Exploring Radiation Therapy Treatments Part 2

As promised in our last blog post today we will dive into the concept of radiation therapy.  In our last installment we discussed linear accelerators and how the radiation beam is produced and delivered.  If you are unfamiliar with LINAC and how radiation is created and delivered look back at our previous blog post before continuing. 

Radiation Therapy

The treatment of cancer with radiation is known as radiation therapy. Depending on the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with will depend on the way radiation therapy is delivered to your tumor(s).  The most common method of radiation therapy is external beam therapy.  This involves delivery of radiation to the cancerous tumors from outside of the body.  The radiation is delivered directly to the tumor.  A LINAC allows the radiation beam to be shaped in the same shape as the cancerous tumor.  Another option of radiation therapy is internal radiation therapy.  This treatment involves implanting radiation directly onto the cancerous tumor. The nature of the cancer being treated will determine the type of radiation therapy delivered.

How It Works

Radiation therapy does not distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells although the effect is greater on cancerous cells. The highest dose of radiation possible is delivered to the cancerous tumor in the attempt to kill, break down, and shrink tumor. Smaller doses of radiation can be delivered when palliative care is the goal.  The goal of palliative care is to relive symptoms of cancer by shrinking the size of the tumor.  Palliative care is focused on increasing the quality of life left for a patient and their family. 

Who Performs Radiation Therapy

A radiotherapist/radiation oncologist is what we refer to as a physician specializing in the treatment of cancer. This individual is the person that will plan and oversee your treatment from beginning until the end of treatment.  Radiation is delivered by a professional known as a radiation specialist.  A team of professionals will work with your specialists to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.  Some of the members of this team include: nurses, health care assistants, counselors, and dietitians. 

Treatment Plan

Each course of radiation therapy is uniquely designed for the patient that is being treated.  A preliminary appointment will be scheduled in which you will discuss your course of treatment.  This plan is created by your radiation oncologist and radiation therapist using all the scans and x-rays that have been taken of your cancerous tumor.  The skin is colored in to define the location of the tumor and where the treatment will be delivered.  If radiation is being delivered to your head a head shell will be created for you that allows for the exact placement of treatment to be marked on the shell vs on your skin.  Treating cancer in the mouth or throat will require a dental assessment to determine if dental treatment is needed before radiation can be delivered.

Inpatient vs Outpatient

Patients that can go to and from the hospital easily will most likely be allowed to have outpatient radiation therapy.  Your radiation oncologist will tell you if they would prefer your treatment to be inpatient but overall most treatment is done on an outpatient basis. 

Additional Tests/Scans During Treatment

Over the course of radiation therapy, patients will be asked to have an occasional blood draw or urinalysis completed.  X-rays and other scans can also be required to determine if the radiation is working and if the placement of the treatment is correct based on the shrinking or break down of the tumor. 

During Treatment What Should I Avoid

Radiation therapy should be considered an interruption to normal life.  Your daily life can be continued as normal if you are feeling emotionally and physically able. 

Things to Keep in Mind During Radiation Therapy

Delivery – External radiation therapy is delivered using a machine known as a linear accelerator which was described in detail in our last installment.  For radiation to be delivered, you as the patient will be asked to lie on a couch under the LINAC and will need to remain still until the treatment is over.

Pain – Radiation therapy is painless.  The radiation can not be felt or seen during delivery.

Radioactivity – Patients always wonder if they will be radioactive after receiving radiation therapy.  You can rest assured that you will not be radioactive, there is no possible way for this to occur.

Duration – The duration of treatment will be decided by your radiation oncologist.  A course of radiation can be between one treatment to one every day, for one week to six weeks.  This will all depend on the type of cancer being treated, the dose of radiation needed, the part of the body being treated, and the aim at therapy whether it is therapeutic or palliative.

Length of Sessions – The length of each radiation session varies between machines and what is planned in your specific treatment plan.  Some LINAC operate at a faster rate than others.  Some cancerous tumors respond better to longer treatment sessions with smaller doses of radiation.  On average patients can expect that their sessions will last between five and fifteen minutes. 

Do’s and Don’ts During Treatment

Do’s

  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat a regular, balanced diet
  • Shower regularly

Don’ts

  • Avoid alcohol, spicy food, or extreme hot and cold food
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight on the treated area
  • Avoid applying creams and deodorant to the treated area

Side Effects

Radiation treatment is localized.  Side effects depend on the location of treatment on the body.  We should note that side effects are rare however the following can occur:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent Urination
  • Sore Throat
  • Localized Hair Loss

Work

Patients can keep on working as usual as long as they are feeling able and their radiation oncologists agree.  If your oncologist suggests time off for rest, it is best to listen to them and avoid work.

Once Treatment Is Finished

If you do have any of the above side effects, it can be assumed that they will end after a week or two.  The full benefits of radiation can usually be reached after a few weeks.  You will follow up with your specialists after four to six weeks of your final radiation treatment.  This will all be determined by your radiation therapist. 

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Exploring Radiation Therapy Treatments Part 1

Medical facilities have a lot to consider when purchasing new or refurbished medical equipment.  It is imperative to offer clients the highest patient care possible while also meeting the goals of the facility.  As patients we often don’t consider the rigorous behind the scenes work it takes to bring us the latest and greatest treatments.  We just want to know that we are getting the best possible treatment for our unique situation.  This is especially true in the treatment of cancer.

Being told you need radiation is perhaps one of the scariest things you will hear.  Everyone has their own experience while going through the process to eliminate their cancer however, it seems the “negative” always outshines the positive as we are seeking answers to questions before our own treatment begins.  We are here to help.  The following installments will give you a solid understanding on the ins and outs of treatment.  Information reduces anxiety and at a time when anxiety is at all time high the last thing you want is to have unanswered question in connection with your treatment.

First and foremost, lets talk about the medical equipment that will be used in treating your cancer with radiation therapy.  Linear accelerators are large machines that can be quite intimidating.  In all honesty, the size of the machine and the impact of the treatment are both extreme and just their sight can create anxiousness. The truth is there is no reason at all to be intimidated by the size or treatment that is provided by linear accelerators, LINAC.

A LINAC is a large piece of medical equipment that uses elevated electromagnetic waves to accelerate electrons into extreme energy in a linear path that travels through an accelerator waveguide.  These electrons collide with a heavy metal target and the result of the collision is the production of high energy x-rays (photons) that are delivered to the patient.  Linear accelerators have special features that allow these beams to be shaped to conform to the tumors shape.  The LINAC treatment angles can be manipulated receiving a variety of angles through the rotating gantry and movable treatment couch.

Linear accelerators, LINAC, continue to evolve.  Radiation therapy continues to advance as well.  What does this mean for patients? 

Increased survival rates, more efficient treatment, fewer side effects, faster results, and more await patients with the advancements of LINAC systems.  The radiation therapy process doesn’t have nerve wracking to patients.  In our next installment we will dive further into the treatment, side effects, and questions patients often ask when discussing treatment with radiation therapy.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.