New ra­dio­ther­apy ma­chine for Life Hil­ton

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - CHELSEA PI­ETERSE • chelsea.pi­[email protected]­ness.co.za

The Life Hil­ton Ra­dio­ther­apy Unit Team with their new, state­of­the­art ra­dio­ther­apy ma­chine ‘Bum­ble­bee’. From left, med­i­cal physi­cist Jonathan Haynes, se­nior ra­dio­ther­a­pist Natalie Clarke, ra­dio­ther­a­pist Nar­isha Goven­der, case man­ager Sharona Singh and ra­dio­g­ra­pher Yo­gin Pil­lay.

A STATE of the art ra­di­a­tion ther­apy ma­chine has been in­stalled at the Life Hil­ton Hospi­tal, bring­ing “so­phis­ti­cated cancer tech­nol­ogy” di­rectly to on­col­ogy pa­tients in the Mid­lands.

Life Hil­ton launched the new ma­chin­ery, the No­valis Tx™ Stereo­tac­tic Ra­dioSurgery unit, at an of­fi­cial open­ing party last Thurs­day, how­ever, the unit has been used to treat pa­tients since June this year.

A state­ment by Life Hil­ton Hospi­tal on the in­tro­duc­tion of the unit said the ma­chine can pro­vide ad­vanced ra­di­a­tion ther­apy to cancer pa­tients with dif­fi­cult to reach tumours.

The No­valis Tx™, fondly named, “Bum­ble­bee” by the Ra­dio­ther­apy Unit staff, is able to shape the ra­di­a­tion beam pre­cisely to a pa­tient’s tumours, so the healthy tis­sue around the area is not dam­aged.

“The ra­di­a­tion beam also adapts to the pa­tient’s breath­ing and other body move­ments to con­tin­u­ously main­tain safe, com­plete and ac­cu­rate treat­ment,” said the state­ment.

With the so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy, the beams are able to treat tumours or growths any­where in the body “from vir­tu­ally any an­gle”.

“It of­fers fast treat­ment ses­sions and gives new hope to pa­tients with tumours that were pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered un­treat­able.”

The tech­nol­ogy was pre­vi­ously only avail­able over­seas.

Life Hil­ton Ra­dio­ther­apy Unit’s head on­col­o­gist, Dr Ziad See­dat, said at the open­ing of the cen­tre that the new ma­chine meant they could “help as many pa­tients as pos­si­ble with ad­vanced tech­niques and fewer side­ef­fects”.

“This ma­chine is able to reach and treat things that were pre­vi­ously very dif­fi­cult or al­most im­pos­si­ble to treat,” he said.

See­dat said the ma­chine could treat le­sions on or­gans such as the liver, which had been tricky be­fore, as the le­sion would move with the or­gan as the pa­tient breathed.

“The beam is able to track the le­sion and treat it while it is in mo­tion.

“We can treat small lung can­cers for peo­ple who are not fit for surgery,” he said.

He added that the beams de­stroy can­cer­ous tumours, and in be­nign growths, they de­stroy the blood ves­sels within so it shrinks away and does not have the chance to be­come ma­lig­nant.

He said the team of 10 work­ing at the cen­tre all had the same drive and pas­sion to help, and were ex­cited that they could treat peo­ple, not only in the Mid­lands, but from across the coun­try.

He said they had al­ready treated a pa­tient from Nel­son Man­dela Bay and that this was the sec­ond ma­chine of its kind in South Africa, and the only one in KwaZulu­Na­tal.

PHOTO: VAL ADAM­SON

PHOTO: VAL ADAM­SON

Life Hil­ton Ra­dio­ther­apy head on­col­o­gist, Dr Ziad See­dat, and se­nior ra­dio­ther­a­pist, Natalie Clarke, ex­am­ine scans from the new ra­dio­ther­apy unit in­stalled at the hospi­tal.

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