Radiation Therapy is the use of ionising radiation to kill tumor cells.
The radiation is delivered by a highly specialised machine, a linear accelerator, which focuses a beam of radiation energy onto the cancerous cells. The beams are shaped using special dynamic equipment and are aimed at the tumor from various different angles for various lengths of time to ensure that the tumor receives the maximum dose of radiation whilst the surrounding tissues are spared, minimising the side effects associated with this treatment.
Radiation therapy can be used to treat cancer with the intent to cure the patient, or to relieve symptoms and extend survival depending on the type, location stage of the cancer as well as the general health of the patient. It can also be used on its own or in conjunction with other modes of treatment such as chemotherapy and surgery.
NOC houses one of the most advanced external radiation therapy delivery modules available today: the Elekta Synergy linear accelerator. Comprehensive treatment planning is conducted in collaboration with the centre's physicist and Oncologists, altogether ensuring the safest, most efficient and effective radiation treatment is delivered to our patients. Treatment is administered by our dynamic team of Radiation Therapists and monitored closely by our Medical Physicist and treating Oncologists. We offer a variety of radiotherapy techniques, including the latest techniques: IMRT & VMAT.
Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is a radiotherapy technique that allows delivery of an increased, very precise, dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing more of the surrounding normal tissues. The radiation beams are shaped very closely to the tumor & the intensity of the beam is controlled by the treating Oncologist. The side effects of IMRT are the same as those of conventional radiation therapy but tend to occur less frequently and with less severity.
Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a novel radiotherapy delivery technique which delivers highly accurate doses of radiation, sparing the surrounding normal tissues. Single or multiple radiation beams sweep in uninterrupted arc(s) around the patient, dramatically speeding up treatment delivery. Reduced the treatment time decreases the likelihood of patient movement during the treatment, ensuring that the radiation is even more precise.
Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy in which a radioactive source is placed directly into or next to an organ or tissue affected by cancer. LDR brachytherapy or ‘seed’ implant involves the insertion of radioactive sources directly into the prostate. These sources or ‘seeds’ give off localised radiation to the entire prostate with the aim of destroying the cancer cells. The radiation is limited to the prostate and only a few millimetres around it, making it an effective form of treatment with minimal side effects to the surrounding, normal tissues. The placement of the ‘seeds’ requires a procedure under anaesthetic that typically takes an hour or two. Our team of Oncologists work closely together with local Urologists and our Medical Physicists to provide this service to patients with prostate cancer who are deemed suitable candidates for the procedure in Windhoek.