Friday, July 10, 2009

High Dose Rate Radiotherapy

A diagnosis of cancer can be devastating, but new technology and treatment plans are increasing survival rates. One new treatment is called High Dose Rate Radiotherapy and has been available at Bay Medical Center for six months. This type of therapy can be used to treat cancers of the female reproductive system such as uterine, cervical and endometrial cancer.

Debbie Gay thought she was going in for a routine hysterectomy, but the pathology report showed she had endometrial cancer. Gay says she was surprised and was “... kind of shaken to begin with.” She underwent High Dose Rate Radiotherapy to treat it.

“I was very surprised at the lack of side effects and how well I’ve done,” Gay explained. The High Dose Rate Radiotherapy works by directing the radiation directly to the tumor itself. The radiation source is smaller than a grain of rice. Radiation Oncologist Dr. Hasan Murshed says this treatment helps with accuracy. It allows the radiation to be directed to a specific site without damaging critical structures such as the bladder or rectum.

Gay was able to receive treatment without it interfering with her daily life. It can be done as an outpatient, and each treatment only takes about ten to fifteen minutes.

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