Precision hit

 
Published: Friday 15 September 2000

One of the most popular and effective methods of the removing cancerous growth is radiation therapy. In this, gamma rays from a radioactive source -- like cobalt-60 -- are directed towards the tumour. The cancerous cells are destroyed by the energetic radiation. Unfortunately, along with the cancerous cells, healthy tissue close to the tumour also get killed because it is very difficult to control the amount and direction of radiation precisely. Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy is a new technique that could prove to be very useful. In this process, non-uniform beams of radiation are fired at different angles at the target. This process allows the physician to deliver a higher dose of radiation to all parts of the tumour while sending less radiation to the healthy tissue surrounding it. The intensity of the beams is controlled by means of a sophisticated device (The World Congress on Medical Physics , www.wc2000.org ).

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