A linear accelerator is used in medical facilities to deliver radiation therapy to patients going through cancer treatment. The LINAC system zeros in on a patient’s tumor to distribute high energy x-ray beams directly. This type of treatment is designed to destroy the cancerous tumor while keeping the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor in the best possible condition.
Linear accelerators are used remedy cancer in numerous locations throughout the body. There are a number of options in delivery of radiation using LINAC systems such as conventional techniques, Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, Stereotactic Radio Surgery and Stereotactic Body Radio Therapy.
2 dimensional planning is done through imaging that is flat. The tumor is centered and a rectangle is drawn where the imaging is to be concentrated. With 3 dimensional planning the tumor is shown as a real time image. The tumors can be treated more precisely than in 2 dimensional imaging because of the perspective that is given between the cancerous tumor and healthy organs. This means that treatment can be given without too much toxicity to the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor. Multi-leaf collimators are thin computerized blocks that attach directly to the LINAC system head and are used to shape the radiation beams to the geometric shape of the tumor.
A linear accelerator works without radioactive isotopes. The LINAC system uses a combination of x-rays and radiation. The benefit of linear accelerators is that radiation is only on when the machine is on. This creates a much safer method of delivering radiation especially to the technicians in charge of delivery.
Another benefit that comes along with radiation treatment delivered using linear accelerator equipment is the speed at which treatment can be given. More and more patients are requiring radiation therapy. When using a LINAC machine radiation treatment time decreases to around five minutes from other standard treatment methods that take upwards of forty to fifty minutes. The speed is not only beneficial to the medical facility as they can offer more treatments per day but also for the convenience of the patient.
Linear accelerators are a necessary piece of equipment for medical facilitates looking to improve efficiency, safety and quality of care. LINAC systems deliver radiation that is used in treating a variety of cancers from brain cancer to prostate cancer. With the precise techniques that radiation oncologists perform the treatment of cancer has become more successful.
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