University Hospital in Brussels becomes first to use safe way of radiation treatment for Breast cancer patients

The University Hospital in Brussels is the first hospital globally that has started using a safe way for the radiation treatment of people suffering from Breast cancer.

As per the statement by UZ Brussels, the hospital began to use the ExacTrac Dynamic system in February, with the results in the first 25 patients already proving to be favourable. The hospital’s Radiotherapy Department was also closely engaged in the development of the system.

Following the removal of a breast tumour, during radiotherapy, there are more threats of the patient developing heart disease, specifically for patients with a tumour in the left breast, as it is very close to the heart.

Moreover, this new technology reduces this risk as the radiation is performed more precisely due to the better control and monitoring of patients’ breathing.

The head of the Radiotherapy Department, Professor Mark De Ridder, mentioned in the statement, “Heart irradiation can be lower down by diagnosing patients during deep breathing. Whenever a patient inhales a deep breath, the distance between the heart as well as the chest increases, which reduces irradiation & therefore the chance of damage to the heart.”

“Patients are treated for about five breaths of 25 seconds. It is important to constantly watch the patient’s position on the treatment table and the breathing depth and adjust if required. The new ExacTrac Dynamic system permits this to be done very accurately and in a patient-friendly way.”

Along with this, the patients also receive direct coaching by the radiotherapy team for their breathing, which means they are more directly involved during the irradiation process, which helps them feel more comfortable.

Furthermore, the system has since been installed in the ASZ Aalst, where UZ Brussel is responsible for radiotherapy, while the Brussels health care centre is also investigating how the ExacTrac Dynamic system can improve the treatment of lung cancer.

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