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Treatment Starting at $450
Image Guided Radiation Therapy
IGRT or Image Guided Radiation Therapy is a technique of giving radiation therapy, that involves the use of detailed imaging guidance for precisely delivering the radiation to the affected area. The procedure is recommended for patients suffering from a wide spectrum of cancer and it aims at destroying the cancerous cells.
What is Image-guided radiation therapy?
Image Guided Radiation Therapy is an advanced cancer treatment modality that uses precise imaging guidance for targeting cancer cells by reducing positioning errors. Cancer is marked by the abnormal growth and development of cells in the body at an uncontrollable pace. These cells can accumulate, resulting in the formation of a tumor. Radiation therapy uses intense doses of radiation to target these cells and destroy them. The damaged cancer cells are easily removed from the body. During Image Guided Radiation Therapy, doctors take multiple images of the concerned area and then deliver the radiation beams accordingly.
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When is Image Guided Radiation Therapy recommended?
There are several different reasons for which image-guided radiation therapy may be recommended:
- If the patient needs precise radiation owing to underlying safety reasons
- The radiation is to be delivered to an area where there is excess movement, as in the case of a lung tumor, which may move due to breathing or an abdominal tumor, which can move due to fullness in the digestive tract.
- If the patient wishes to go for only 1 to 5 rounds of treatment instead of multiple treatment sessions.
What are the benefits of Image Guided Radiation Therapy?
There are several different ways in which Image Guided Radiation Therapy is more beneficial than regular radiation therapy. These are:
- Added safety
- Precise administration of radiation
- Added effectiveness
- Lesser treatment sessions
- Minimal exposure to surrounding healthy cells
What to expect before the procedure?
- Before undergoing image-guided Radiation therapy, you need to undergo the simulation process which involves the mapping of the concerned area, determining the radiation dosage and curating a proper treatment plan so that the surrounding healthy tissues have minimal exposure.
- The simulation process starts with an x-ray, which is used to mark the skin that has to be exposed to the radiation.
- During the procedure, you will be required to lie down in the same position
- The simulation procedure can take about 2 to 4 hours or even longer.
- In case, Image Guided Radiation Therapy is performed with some other treatment modality, your treatment will be scheduled accordingly.
What to expect during stimulation?
- Before starting the simulation process, the placement of markers may be done. Doctors use multiple gold markers that are as small as a grain of rice. These are easily visible on the X-rays and CT scans. This is done a couple of days prior to the actual simulation process
- Some patients may also need a myelogram, which inverses the administration of contrast material into the spinal canal. This is done to make it possible for the doctors to have a clearer view of the concerned area
- During the process of simulation, you will be asked to light on a table. Pain medication may be given depending on the personal preference of the patient
- It is important to inform your radiologist if you are experiencing any kind of pain or discomfort.
- During the procedure, you are likely to feel that the table is moving and the lights may be turned on and off.
- Make sure that you do not look at the red laser beam that is used during the process.
What happens during Image Guided Radiation Therapy?
- You will be required to lie down still in the mould, in an isolated room, and the radiation will be given
- It is important to understand that you will see, nor feel the radiation, however, you can hear the sound generated by the machine.
- You will have to stay in the room for a minimum of 2 hours, based on your treatment plan.
- The same process will be repeated in the next setting; however, it may not take this long.
What to expect after the procedure?
- After the treatment, you will be required to go for regular check-ups, every week, to keep a track of your prognosis.
- Your next treatment will be scheduled depending on your specific needs
- You will also be required to undergo certain tests and screenings, to look out for any potential risks and complications.
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