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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

RCC goes in for major infrastructural additions

Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: The Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here is going in for major infrastructural development and has acquired several sophisticated new diagnostic and radiotherapy machines which will help deliver better and more efficient cancer care to people.

Two advanced Linear Accelerators, Clinac iX and Clinac 600C, which are capable of delivering Intensity-Modulated Radio Therapy (IMRT) and Image-Guided Radio Therapy (IGRT), have been installed at the RCC, at a cost of Rs.21 crore, making it one of the few hospitals in the country and the only one in the public sector to acquire this state-of-the-art radiation treatment facility.

The fund was part of last year's State government grant for the RCC.

IMRT and IGRT are radiation therapies which allows for the radiation dose to conform more precisely to the three-dimensional shape of a tumour so that higher radiation doses can be delivered within the tumour, minimising the damage to the surrounding normal tissues.

The Clinac iX machine, which has the advanced RapidArc system, can deliver the radiation dose precisely and very quickly while continuously rotating around the patient. This would reduce the treatment time and thus provide more patient comfort and it will also help the hospital treat more patients on a given day. This machine is also fitted with an electronic beam for delivering whole-body radiation also.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

These advanced linear accelerators will also make it possible for the RCC to perform Stereotactic Radiosurgery, the sophisticated mode of treating brain tumours, lesions and other cranial blood vessel disorders using high-precision and focussed radiation. Even minute tumours which are inaccessible for surgery can also be targeted using this method.

Upgrading facilities

The RCC is also upgrading the facilities for the treatment of breast and cervical cancers, given that these are the two most commonly occurring cancers in the State . The newly-acquired Digital Mammogram, along with the Digital Mammotome will help in detecting lumps which may not be palpable.

“We are upgrading the Brachytherapy for cervical cancer and will also be introducing the Sentinel Lymph node Biopsy for breast cancer, a procedure which will help the surgeon accurately determine if the breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This will help eliminate unnecessary dissection of lymph nodes and provide better patient comfort,” Paul Sebastian, RCC Director and Head of Surgical Oncology, said.

Introducing PACs

“Another major infrastructural addition for us is the introduction of PACS or Picture Archiving and Communication System, which helps in storing and retrieving electronic medical images, totally eliminating the need for a hard copy or printed film. The entire hospital will be networked to enable doctors to access the digital images,” Dr Sebastian said.

Patients who undergo CT or MRI scans will thus no longer need to wait for the printed film and waste another day to meet the doctor with reports as the doctors can access the images directly on a computer screen.

Inauguration today

Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy will commission the Linear Accelerators at the RCC by on Tuesday.

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