TomoTherapy Cancer Treatment – Ogden Regional Medical Center

(mellow music) – I’m Dr. Roger Hansen. I’m a radiation oncologist and I work at Ogden Regional
treating cancer patients. We are very excited to
have TomoTherapy in Utah. TomoTherapy is a radiation
treatment delivery system that is able to treat into a patient from every degree in a circle. It can focus the radiation
better on the cancer and it can protect the normal tissues around the cancer as well. The goal of radiation
is that you wanna give as much radiation to the cancer as you can while protecting the
normal tissues around that so that they don’t get injured. With this new TomoTherapy
treatment system, we can image the cancer because every day the patient
comes in for treatment, they get a CAT scan as
part of that treatment. The machine can detect if the patient is a little bit off-center and can move the patient back
into the center of the beam and the radiation can come in from hundreds of additional angles that older radiation machines cannot use. So we can target the radiation better. We can protect the normal tissues better. Cure is better, side effects are less. It’s just the next generation
in cancer treatment. The most common cancers that we treat are probably prostate cancer
and breast cancer, but TomoTherapy can be used
for any cancer that people get. There are hundreds of TomoTherapy units throughout the country. In Utah, we are the only cancer group that uses this technology and we have four or five systems set up from Northern Utah down to Southern Utah. Patients like the fact that they have their
cancer imaged every day to make sure that the radiation
is focusing on the tumor and not somewhere else
where it shouldn’t be going. Patients also are doing much
better at the end of treatment with fewer side effects
compared to what we’re used to. So their quality of life
is better maintained. As you say, nobody wants to go
through cancer treatment, but if you have to do it, you want the most effective treatment and you want a minimum
amount of side effects. We have never seen anything like this. TomoTherapy does a better
job than anything we’ve used. Generally radiation is well tolerated. The side effects are slow to develop. They’re easily managed and
they will resolve completely within a month or so of
the treatment ending. There are many examples of
success with TomoTherapy. I think of many of the men I’ve treated with prostate cancer who
get through treatment and they’re just elated that
the amount of side effects they were prepared for
were far less to them than what they thought. I also think of another
difficult kind of cancer that people get which
is cancer in their mouth or throat areas. Old radiation treatments would often burn up the salivary glands
which would cause a dry mouth, difficulty swallowing your
food, difficulty speaking. It caused a lot of tooth decay because the saliva helps
keep your teeth healthy. With this new TomoTherapy system, we can protect the salivary
glands much better. Patients don’t get near the degree of dryness in their mouth. Again their side effects or
quality of life are much better after treatment than
what it ever used to be with older technology. (mellow music)

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