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May 26, 2011
FHD Offers Patients New Tool to Fight Cancer
Florida Hospital DeLand now offers cancer patients the latest tool in radiation oncology, Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). 

This new sophisticated equipment enables doctors in Volusia County to choose the most appropriate treatment for treating cancer in the body, head or neck, and deliver the full-spectrum of treatments, all in one machine. Additionally, this state-of-the-art technology improves the precision and effectiveness of cancer treatments by allowing physicians to target and track tumors more accurately.

“Tissues, organs, and many tumors are not rigidly fixed in one position. They can move several centimeters inside the body due to natural physiological processes, like breathing,” said Gary Graham, MD, Radiation Oncologist. “Since they are not always in the exact same position each time a patient is positioned for treatment, the IGRT Respiratory Gating feature is essential to tracking and targeting tumors with radiation.”

Because the IGRT equipment provides more precise tumor targeting, the radiation beam dosage levels can be increased, allowing tumors to receive a higher dose of radiation while nearby healthy tissues receive very little. This enables doctors to treat tumors with radiation, even if they are close to vital organs like the spinal column, salivary glands, heart, or lungs, with substantially fewer side effects and a much better post-treatment quality of life.

“Radiation therapy is very effective at controlling many forms of cancer by destroying cancer cells’ ability to reproduce,” said Graham. “With more than 60 percent of cancer patients requiring some form of radiation therapy as part of their treatment, it is imperative patients have cancer-fighting technology of this caliber close to home.”

The addition of the IGRT equipment is part of the Florida Hospital DeLand Cancer Institute $5.2 million expansion project, designed to enhance the services provided and treat a wider range of tumor sites.

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