Radiotherapy utilizes high energy particles or electromagnetic waves such as: x-ray photon, gamma, electron or proton to destroy or damage cancer cells. Radiotherapy is one of the major components for cancer treatment, especially for several cancer types, such as head-neck, cervical cancer and several others. Radiotherapy can be used independently or combined with other therapies such as chemotherapy or biopsy / surgery. Several chemotherapy types can increase the radiation effect, or also known as the terms radiosensitizer.
WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE RADIOTHERAPY PROCESS?
During the radiotherapy process, patients will be handled by a team consisting of:
- Radiation Oncologist: The Radiation Oncologist specializes in cancer treatment with radiation. The doctor is fully responsible of all the patient's radiation therapies.
- Medical Physicist: Medical Physicist is responsible to ensure all the radiation equipment is fully functioned and the right dosage is given as instructed by the Radiation Oncologist.
- Dosymetricist: The staff under the monitoring of Medical Physicist to help the Radiation Oncologists to plan the therapy’s dosage.
- Therapist (RRT): The Therapist operates the radiation equipment and positions the patient on the radiation table.
- Nurse: The nurse is responsible for providing information needed by patients and handling radiation side effects treatment.
Other than that, patients may also need consultations from Nutritionists, Dentist, Medical Rehabilitation Doctors, Medical Oncologist and others.
WHAT IS 3D-CRT AND IMRT AND WHAT ARE THE ADVANTADGES COMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL RADIOTHERAPY?
The technology development in electro medic, computing and physics allow new methods in radiotherapy. The new methods enable doctors to focus the radiation on the tumor to reduce destruction of the healthy cells so the radiation dosage can be increased. This requires a set of special equipments to form the radiation file according to the tumor shape.
Other than that, special computer is needed to process the image from the CT-Scan examination to map the tumor location in 3D. This mapping is later used to simulate the form and direction to the radiation file virtually.
This approach is known as Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT). Thus, to increase the radiation accuracy, patient wears specific equipments to help the patients in a comfortable position and reduce unnecessary movements during the radiation process.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
is a new technique developed from 3D-CRT. Similar to it, the radiation file is formed according to the tumor shape, however IMRT also sets the strength of radiation file individually so the spread of radiation dosage can be adjusted according tothe tumor shape.
IMRT allows radiation with lower side effects of in longer term compared to conventional radiotherapy technique and 3D-CRT.
For more INFORMATION, please contact: GICC Ext. 28160-61