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A Ray of Hope

A Ray of Hope
June 30, 2017 2:10 pm

Posted by: Ria Anne Cantada

By Anna Maria B. Fineza, MD, FPCR, DPROS

Cancer is one of the leading causes of illness and death across the globe. Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries due to inaccessibility of diagnostic and treatment services. While most tumors are still removed surgically, the importance of a multidisciplinary team approach to cancer management could not be more emphasized at the present time.

Radiation therapy is either a cure for or palliation of symptoms for better quality of life. It is a well-planned delivery of high dose radiation which is lethal to malignant cells while sparing normal, healthy tissues.

Mouth sores during head and neck radiotherapy are common but can be resolved over time upon completion of treatment. On the other hand, dry mouth syndrome, a potentially lifelong complication, can be easily prevented through the use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) technique. This is wherein radiation dose is strictly confined on tumor volumes and not so much on critical organs or structures. Another innovation is the image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) or image-guided adaptive radiation therapy (IGART). It has an onboard cone-beam CT for target localization just before treatment delivery ensuring precise tumor coverage.

De La Salle University Medical Center will soon house the first and only radiation treatment facility in Cavite: a new modern IMRT-capable linear accelerator (LINAC) machine.

Photo courtesy of Philippine Oncology Center Corporation (POCC)