IMRT Prostate Cancer

Ever since radiation has been used therapeutically for the treatment of various ailments, its harmful side effects have been well known and documented, making it clear that there was need for improvement. In the treatment of various cancers, for instance, the need for a dose of radiation powerful enough to kill the cancer cells once and for all was overwhelming, especially since it was countered by the need to maintain health to normal cells and tissues in the body. To that end, researchers have indeed found an improved type of radiation therapy ? IMRT ? which is more than just a bold step toward ensuring that patients go home safer after radiation treatment.

IMRT, more specifically Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, makes use of customized radiation doses that are intended to maximize the dose of ionizing radiation administered to a cancer tumor. At the same time, the radiation is able to simultaneously protect the surrounding normal tissue, which results in better tumor targeting, lessened side effects, and improved treatment outcomes. There are a lot of other benefits that new imaging technologies have brought to the medical community, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and others, but IMRT easily tops off on them all, moving radiation therapy from 3-D conformal to intensity-modulated and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).

Prostate cancer, a carcinoma most difficult to treat without side effects is certainly in need of something this precise because of the sensitivity of the region in which the prostate organ is located. Even though three dimensional conformal radiotherapy is still used extensively for many body sites, the use of IMRT is growing in more complicated body sites, with a special focus on the prostate.

The procedure is not without its shortcomings, though. For one, it is limited by its need for additional time from experienced medical personnel. Also, medical physicists and dosimetrists must be engaged in the process in order to create a viable treatment plan for each patient. And of course, those who have never employed the technique before in the past (doctors, oncologist, urologists, surgeons) must now make the time to learn the use of IMRT technology before they can start to use it on patients. But really this is a small price to pay if you can tell the patient he can go home sooner, he is totally cancer free, and he is not likely to suffer a relapse of the cancer in the next ten years.

Simply put, intensity modulated radiation therapy is an evolution of radiation technology, from standard to 3D to something so much better, with better cure rates and fewer side effects; something that you can have so much more confidence in than you would have, so that you can just get your prostate cancer treatment and be away with it without worries about the future. It’s indeed a good idea to learn all you can about IMRT prostate treatment option, as introduced in this article.

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