Impressive results are achieved thanks to the advanced radiotherapy devices used in cancer therapy in recent years. Tayfun Hancilar, Assoc. Prof. of Radiation Oncology at Okan University, talked about new generation technologies in cancer treatment.
Skin injuries, urinary burning or intestinal injuries seen during the therapy in patients who receive radiotherapy in the past years have now become less prevalent thanks to the advanced technology devices. We knew for many years that the higher the dose of radiotherapy we apply, the more effective it is. But, we were not able to give the doses we wanted as the old-timer therapy devices would also have damaged the healthy tissue while they targeted the tumour.
The devices we have had in recent years are capable of protecting the peripheral tissue while giving high dose onto the target point, thus we are safely able to apply the high dose that will remove the tumour.
As an example, in the past, the heart dose was so high while treating the breast cancer that we would lose some of our patients in the long term due to cardiac failure rather than the breast cancer itself. But today, the heart dose in the same treatment remains within highly safe limits.
Another advantage of the technology is that the devices used in the therapy capture the shape of the target mass better and reduce the dose amounts to be received by healthy organs. They decrease the treatment time. Thanks to their collimating structure with 5 times less leak dose permeability, they minimize the radiation exposure of the healthy organs and have the lowest risk rates in the formation of secondary cancers. This feature provides a substantial advantage particularly in CHILDHOOD TUMOURS.
We Now Offer Personal Treatment Just As The Designers Do!
In the past, we would engage much wider areas as we couldn’t clearly see the area we treated, therefore we would apply the radiotherapy over an area more than needed, in order to treat the tumour. In other words, we would get everyone to put on XL gown. But now, we are capable of administer the best “haute couture” treatment for each patient as the devices we utilise today clearly show us the area that we treat every day. Thanks to this therapy, we are able to preserve the good tissue at maximum level while giving the high dose to the tumour.
Bloodless Surgery with Radiotherapy!
Treatment can be as successful as in surgery, by giving a very high dose over the tumour area only in 1-3 days, which is widely known as “point shooting”, by employing a radio-surgery method for early stage lung tumours that cannot be operated for any reason.
Radiotherapy is Much Quicker Now!
While radiotherapy was a treatment that could take between 5- 8 weeks, today we are able to administer the treatments in a short time and in a safely fashion thanks to the superior technological features, which would take longer in 3 or 5 therapies in the past. We can administer the therapy to the patients with eligible prostate cancer in a 5-day therapy, which would normally take 8 weeks and the patients stay shorter at the hospital and get back to normal life.
Technology Brings in Speed!
Treatment durations are 2-3 times faster, allowing us to treat especially the paints with pain quickly and safely, without encountering the problems caused by staying still in the machine for a long period of time.
The Patient Receiving Radiotherapy Can Maintain Their Daily Lives!
The quality of life can be affected in the patients who undergo a surgery and receive chemotherapy, even though for a short time. However, the patients can continue their daily lives when radiotherapy is well planned and proper machines are used. We advise our patients to continue their daily routine over the course of the treatment since the side effects are rare and insignificant during the radiotherapy. The patients receiving radiotherapy are free to go to work and drive a car, go to Mall but they are advised to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth, in public transport vehicles as a protection against sick people around. What we need to emphasise in particular is that radiation is not transferred into the body of the patient during the radiotherapy so, they do not necessarily need to be isolated from the community.
What to Eat in the Course of Radiotherapy!
Minimum 2 lt of water should be consumed a day to keep the skin moist.Fizzy drinks are not recommended. It is recommended to consume water, ayran, freshly squeezed fruit juice.Strictly avoid smoking and alcohol.It would be a good practice to consume turmeric, ginger and kefir in the course of radiotherapy, as they have positive effects on the defence system of the bodyPrefer soft foods such as soup, stewed fruits, meshed vegetables or meat puree, as much as possible.Protein-rich foods are very crucial in cancer treatment. Therefore, it is good to consume beef or chicken broth (consommé) soup. Red meat can be stewed and consumed safely once a week. We advise our patients receiving a therapy to consume one egg every day.Although we do not have clear evidences, we would not recommend sugary foods. But, the sugar taken from fruits is an exception to that. So, we recommend a fruit, vegetable-based diet to our patients.It’s OK to use honey but, consuming more than two spoons of honey is not recommended.We recommend grape juice and tomato juice for the patients undergoing a therapy, as they have antioxidant properties, on the condition that they are freshly squeezed.