Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What Type of Radiation Therapy is Right for Me?

Many cancer patients get at least one type of radiation treatment over the span of their treatment. Medical specialists will recommend one of the diverse sorts of radiation treatment as an independent tumor treatment. They could likewise recommend a mix of chemotherapy and radiotherapy depending on your circumstance. No two patient’s conditions, tumor size, area, and stage are the same - that means different treatments requires a unique plan.

Radiation is a standout amongst the most widely used treatments for cancer. Different names for radiation treatment are radiation therapy, x-ray therapy, radiotherapy or irradiation.  The Radiation therapy utilizes high-energy particles or waves, for example, x-beams, protons, gamma beams, or electron rays, to decimate cancer cells.

Your cells regularly develop and shape some new cells.  As always be, tumor cells develop and separates faster than most typical cells. Radiation works by making little breaks in the DNA within cells. These breaks shield growth cells from developing and isolating and destroying them. Some nearby typical cells can likewise be influenced by radiation, yet most recoup and continue working the way they should.

The therapy is not like chemotherapy, which for the most part uncovered the entire body to cancer battling drugs, radiation treatment is typically a type of local treatment. By and large, it targets and influences just the piece of the body being dealt with. Radiation therapy was designed to destroy cancer cells, with as little damage to healthy cells.

Types of Radiation Therapy

1. The External Beam Radiation -
This type is the most widely used sort of radiation treatment. It includes a machine that coordinates high-energy light emissions at cancer cells. The machine enables radiation to be focused at particular destinations, which is the reason specialists utilize external beam radiation for a wide range of cancers. It is painless and is like having an X-Ray taken. This treatment devastates cancer cells and keeps them from separating and growing. Since radiation treatment likewise reaches healthy cells, radiation oncologists partition the treatment into little dosages regulated five times every week. This enables healthy cells to recover.

2. The Internal Radiation-
Internal radiation is likewise called brachytherapy. Here, a radioactive source is put inside the body into or close to the tumor.  With this type of treatment, the radioactive inserts are embedded into the prostate amid surgery. After some time, the radioactive materials will bit by bit kill cancer cells. This implant can be brief or perpetual.  The Brachytherapy is basically utilized for patients with low risk and moderately risky prostrate tumor.

3. The Systemic Radiation Therapy-
These are radioactive treatments given by mouth or put into the vein in order to treat certain sorts of tumor. The treatments at that point go all through the body.  Despite the fact that this kind of radiation travels all through the body, the radioactive substance generally gathers in the region of the tumor, so there's little impact on whatever is left of the body.

As you can see, type of radiation therapy you may get relies upon the kind of cancer/tumor you have and where it is located. In some cases, more than one type of radiation therapy is utilized.

Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at http://www.acceletronics.com.  To contact one of our LINAC experts call 610.524.3300.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to Upgrade LINAC Systems on a Budget

When you're researching an upgrade path to your LINAC system, consider all the necessary factors to ensure the continued success of your practice. LINAC machines are essential to every practice that prides itself on providing a complete care solution for their patients.
LINAC machines are understandably complex and rather expensive devices. If budget is a primary concern, then one angle you should consider for your upgrade path is the purchase of a Refurbished LINAC machine.

LINAC machines are not mass produced, as all are handmade, which means that each unit will have unique idiosyncrasies regardless of the manufacturer. As each device is unique from any other, the service history is an all-important consideration to go through before purchase.
Check the beam hours to determine how hard the machine has worked each day. Perform a physical check to carefully examine the device and speak with the clinicians who used the machine on a daily basis.

Refurbishment costs will be a deciding factor in your final choice. There are two types of refurbishment; mechanical and cosmetic. A machine that looks the part in your practice is important, but it's the mechanical refurbishment that will have the biggest impact on total cost of ownership. Ensure that you have a written record of the services that have been performed.
Another important consideration with a refurbished LINAC system is the installation process. The install team will need to be suitably experienced and understand the machine at both a hardware and software level. Check that guarantees are in place to protect you should your LINAC system fail to meet manufacturer specifications.

The ongoing operation of your linear accelerator will depend on your level of equipment support. Many facilities will opt for the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to perform all of their maintenance tasks.  Refurbished linear accelerators must meet OEM standards before they are able to be sold.  When service is performed whether by OEM certified repair technicians or an independent source you will want to ensure that the machine passes OEM acceptance test procedures.
Third party support is always an option for cost savings, but you will need an uptime guarantee in place, along with a minimum response time during emergencies.  If a refurbished LINAC is your upgrade path of choice keep the above in mind and you will ensure a long-life for your machine and peace-of-mind for you.

Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at http://www.acceletronics.com.  To contact one of our LINAC experts call 610.524.3300.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lіnеаr Accelerators Uѕеd Fоr Radiation Therapy

A lіnеаr ассеlеrаtоr (LINAC) іѕ thе device mоѕt соmmоnlу uѕеd for external bеаm rаdіаtіоn trеаtmеntѕ for раtіеntѕ with саnсеr. Thе linear ассеlеrаtоr is uѕеd tо treat аll parts/organs оf the bоdу. It dеlіvеrѕ hіgh-еnеrgу x-rays or еlесtrоnѕ to thе rеgіоn оf thе patient's tumоr. These treatments саn be dеѕіgnеd in ѕuсh a way thаt thеу destroy thе саnсеr сеllѕ while ѕраrіng thе surrounding nоrmаl tіѕѕuе. The LINAC іѕ used tо trеаt all bоdу sites, using соnvеntіоnаl techniques, Intеnѕіtу-Mоdulаtеd Rаdіаtіоn Thеrару (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Arс Therapy (VMAT), Imаgе Guided Rаdіаtіоn Therapy (IGRT), Stеrеоtасtіс Rаdіоѕurgеrу (SRS) and Stеrеоtасtіс Bоdу Rаdіо Therapy (SBRT).

How the equірmеnt wоrk
 Thе lіnеаr ассеlеrаtоr uses mісrоwаvе technology (ѕіmіlаr to that used for rаdаr) tо ассеlеrаtе еlесtrоnѕ іn a part оf thе ассеlеrаtоr саllеd the "waveguide," thеn allows these еlесtrоnѕ tо соllіdе with a hеаvу mеtаl target tо рrоduсе hіgh-еnеrgу x-rауѕ. This high еnеrgу x-rауѕ аrе shaped as thеу еxіt thе mасhіnе tо соnfоrm tо thе shape of thе раtіеnt'ѕ tumor and thе сuѕtоmіzеd bеаm is dіrесtеd to the раtіеnt'ѕ tumor. Thе bеаm іѕ usually ѕhареd bу a multi leaf соllіmаtоr thаt is іnсоrроrаtеd іntо thе hеаd оf thе machine. The раtіеnt lіеѕ оn a moveable trеаtmеnt соuсh and lаѕеrѕ аrе used tо mаkе sure thе раtіеnt is іn thе рrореr роѕіtіоn. Thе treatment couch саn mоvе іn mаnу dіrесtіоnѕ іnсludіng up, dоwn, rіght, lеft, іn аnd out. Thе bеаm соmеѕ out оf a раrt оf thе accelerator саllеd a gаntrу, whісh саn bе rotated аrоund thе patient. Rаdіаtіоn саn be dеlіvеrеd tо thе tumоr frоm аnу angle bу rоtаtіng thе gаntrу аnd moving thе treatment couch.

Oреrаtor  
Thе patient's rаdіаtіоn оnсоlоgіѕt рrеѕсrіbеѕ the аррrорrіаtе treatment volume and dosage. Thе medical physicist аnd the dоѕіmеtrіѕt dеtеrmіnе how tо deliver thе рrеѕсrіbеd dоѕе аnd calculate the аmоunt оf tіmе it will take thе accelerator tо dеlіvеr thаt dose. Radiation therapists ореrаtе the linear ассеlеrаtоr аnd gіvе patients thеіr dаіlу radiation trеаtmеntѕ.

Ѕаfеtу  
Patient ѕаfеtу is vеrу іmроrtаnt аnd іѕ аѕѕurеd in ѕеvеrаl wауѕ. Bеfоrе treatment is dеlіvеrеd tо the patient, a trеаtmеnt рlаn is developed and аррrоvеd bу the rаdіаtіоn оnсоlоgіѕt in соllаbоrаtіоn wіth thе rаdіаtіоn dоѕіmеtrіѕt and mеdісаl рhуѕісіѕt. Thе рlаn іѕ dоublе-сhесkеd bеfоrе treatment іѕ given аnd ԛuаlіtу-аѕѕurаnсе рrосеdurеѕ аrе реrfоrmеd to ensure thаt the treatment wіll be delivered as planned.

Quality аѕѕurаnсе of the lіnеаr ассеlеrаtоr іѕ very іmроrtаnt. Thеrе аrе ѕеvеrаl ѕуѕtеmѕ buіlt іntо the accelerator ѕо thаt іt will nоt deliver a hіghеr dоѕе thаn the rаdіаtіоn оnсоlоgіѕt hаѕ prescribed. Eасh morning bеfоrе аnу раtіеntѕ аrе treated, thе radiation therapist реrfоrmѕ сhесkѕ оn the mасhіnе tо mаkе sure that thе radiation іntеnѕіtу іѕ unіfоrm асrоѕѕ the bеаm аnd thаt іt іѕ wоrkіng рrореrlу. In аddіtіоn, thе mеdісаl рhуѕісіѕt соnduсtѕ more detailed mоnthlу аnd аnnuаl checks оf thе lіnеаr accelerator.

Mоdеrn lіnеаr accelerators аlѕо hаvе іntеrnаl сhесkіng ѕуѕtеmѕ that dо nоt аllоw thе machine to be turnеd оn unlеѕѕ all thе рrеѕсrіbеd trеаtmеnt requirements are met.
Durіng trеаtmеnt, thе rаdіаtіоn thеrаріѕt соntіnuоuѕlу оbѕеrvеѕ thе раtіеnt uѕіng a сlоѕеd-сіrсuіt television mоnіtоr. There іѕ аlѕо a microphone іn the trеаtmеnt room ѕо that thе patient саn ѕреаk tо thе thеrаріѕt if nееdеd. Pоrt fіlmѕ (x-rays tаkеn with thе trеаtmеnt bеаm) оr оthеr imaging tools ѕuсh аѕ соnе beam CT are checked regularly to mаkе sure that thе bеаm роѕіtіоn doesn't vary frоm thе оrіgіnаl рlаn.

Sаfеtу оf thе staff ореrаtіng the lіnеаr accelerator is аlѕо іmроrtаnt. Thе lіnеаr accelerator ѕіtѕ in a room wіth lеаd and соnсrеtе walls ѕо that thе high-energy x-rays аrе ѕhіеldеd аnd no one оutѕіdе of the room іѕ еxроѕеd to the x-rауѕ. Thе radiation therapist must turn on the ассеlеrаtоr frоm оutѕіdе thе trеаtmеnt room. Because the ассеlеrаtоr only еmіtѕ rаdіаtіоn when іt is actually turnеd on, thе risk оf ассіdеntаl еxроѕurе is еxtrеmеlу low.

Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at http://www.acceletronics.com.  To contact one of our Linac experts call 610.524.3300.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

LINAC vs CYBERKNIFE

A Linear accelerator usually referred to as LINAC, have become the standard technique for producing electrons and protons for radiation therapy treatments, producing energy for external beam radiation treatments for cancer. Linear accelerators are highly programmed, computer-powered systems that deliver accurate and controlled radiation to treat cancer patients.

Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a treatment in which high-energy X-rays are used to kill cancerous tumors. A linear accelerator LINAC creates photons by accelerating electrons along a linear path where they collide with a metal target. This produces a single, intense photon beam. CyberKnife, on the other hand, is not a real knife as one may presume. It is in fact a piece of advanced machinery that treats tumors, Medical and other conditions. This Robotic Radiosurgery system is a boon for cancer patients searching for a non-surgical and painless option.
Comparing these two in terms of accuracy, CyberKnife offers the accuracy level of sub-millimeter to the targeted area for tumor shrinking and killing. Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery, however, assures accuracy level of a millimeter to deliver high doses of Gamma rays and X-rays (using multi-modality approach) to the targeted area.

In terms of flexibility, CyberKnife offers a frameless system that improves flexibility for both patient and the Oncologist. Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery, on the other hand, requires a Stereotactic frame to be fixed to the patient's head. Thus, the flexibility for patient and oncologists is restricted.
Obviously, they both treat cancer, but the type of cancer they treat differs. CyberKnife is a suitable option for all types of tumors that require advanced or mild treatment. Whether it is an adult, older person or a kid, the treatment can be taken by anyone. Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery, however, is useful for treating brain cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, metastatic cancer, spine cancer, and other types of cancerous tumors.

CyberKnife requires only sessions as few as 1-5 from the commencement of the treatment. Depending on the health and condition of the patient, a single session can cure the tumor, thereby eliminating the need for multiple visits and hospital expenses. Multiple sessions may be required for the patient undergoing Linac Stereotactic surgery depending on the health condition and treatment. Also, hospital stay and surgery may be required if the previous results have not been satisfactory.
Based on cost, since CyberKnife is capable of curing tumors in as few as 1-5 sessions, the cost of the overall treatment, including hospital visits, stays and recovery reduce significantly, making it an affordable option. The cost of Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery treatment, however, varies in nature depending on the sessions (depending on the condition of the tumor and patient), surgery and hospital stay if required. The cost effectiveness depends upon the duration of treatment.
So what are their benefits? The CyberKnife takes care of the patient's comfort without Anesthesia shots and requiring the framing. This offers flexible positioning, accurate detection of tumor and its removal in real time.

Conventional Linac system is capable of targeting voluminous tumors also. Besides, the treatment can be done in a single session. However, the system featuring a Conventional linear accelerator, which has only rotational movement in one plane, does not have a virtual motion and targeting capability in 3D space around the patient. Also, for treating tumors that move with respirations, the patient needs to breathe and hold which may be slightly uncomfortable than getting treatment in free breathing like in CyberKnife.

Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at http://www.acceletronics.com.  To contact one of our Linac experts call 610.524.3300.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Should Medical Facilities Outsource Medical Equipment Maintenance & Repairs?

Healthcare facilities often outsource their equipment support services to ensure medical equipment is always up and running. However, with health care costs being continually cut and medical funding reduced, many healthcare facilities have now been forced to look for ways to pay for operational costs more wisely.  This is done by improving the equipment maintenance and repair processes, thus ensuring the long-term reliability of the repaired equipment.
Outsourcing medical equipment can have a significant impact on a healthcare facility’s bottom line. This in part is due to the increased sophistication and specialization of equipment such as the refurbished linear accelerators, otherwise known as LINAC, as well as the integration with electronic networks, and the ever-increasing requirements for compliance, safety, reliability and accuracy.
Having an in-house by clinical engineer already on staff to work on simple adjustments and minor repairs can be more costly than paying an outside vendor.  Although it does empower clinical engineers to conduct as many repairs in-house as possible and provides a great opportunity for healthcare facilities to prevent downtime when waiting for an outside technician to get to the hospital.
On the other hand, outsourcing can eliminate the need to hire in-house resources. Therefore labor costs and operational costs can be minimized to a great extent. Instead of hiring an in-house engineer, a medical facility can hire a vendor only on a need be basis. The hired vendor will handle all resourcing needs by tapping into their pool of highly skilled, trained and certified technicians and depending on the facility’s size and levels of technology, outsourcing is beneficial because it will eliminate additional costs such as having a customer service call center and a technical helpdesk. This will not only improve operations but investing in an outsourced program will decrease the costs of managing clinical assets by using a strategic approach to servicing medical equipment.
There are many new independent firms with clinical engineering expertise and comprehensive medical equipment maintenance of the modern, sophisticated and high-end medical equipment that healthcare organizations can benefit from. The probability is that an in-house engineer would cost a hospital just as much as a hired vendor. Why not capitalize on the quality resources and support of such specialists, because medical devices continue to grow in sophistication with every passing day and the need for highly skilled service technicians will drastically increase in the near future.
Hiring a skilled outside vendor will ensure that you have one at your beck-and-call at all times. Nowadays, outside vendors offer remote service options to medical facilities, where the inside technician/ engineer lacks the scope of training needed to successfully implement a modern day equipment maintenance or is unable to do a sufficient job to a certain degree.
In addition to that, outsourced clinical engineering programs have the ability to track equipment inventory in real-time such as the equipment’s age and condition, its failure rate, and preventative maintenance scheduling. This is just a few more reasons to outsource medical equipment maintenance.
Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at http://www.acceletronics.com.  To contact one of our LINAC experts call 610.524.3300.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Benefits of Contracting a Private Medical Equipment Repair Company

There are a number of benefits that come with outsourcing medical equipment repairs. Technicians are trained to fix a countless number of medical devices. This ensures the hospital or medical center has access to professional technicians with expertise on any number of medical devices. Medical equipment never gives an advance notice for when it is going to stop functioning as it is intended. Outsourcing medical equipment repair ensures that you have a professional technician at a moment’s notice. To expect an in-house program to posses the scope of training that is needed to be successful in implementing repairs to a various number of different medical devices is a lot to ask. It is difficult to anticipate issues that will arise when it comes to complicated medical equipment such as linear accelerators and CT Scanners. Medical equipment is complicated by big data and oftentimes driven by compliance thus making it pertinent that it is repaired quickly and correctly. Independent linear accelerator companies provide services to a variety of companies that manufacture equipment such as Varian, Siemens, and Elekta linear accelerators. Since they are independent of the manufacturer they offer an advantage to clients because they are able to objectively aid in project repairs without vendor bias. They are also able to facilitate when it comes to purchasing equipment. Independent medical repair companies often associate with companies that offer new and refurbished equipment for sale incase repairs are unable to be accomplished at a reasonable price in a timely manner. There are a number of benefits to outsourcing medical equipment repairs such as reduced costs and higher quality. Reduced Costs The obvious benefit of contracting medical repair services is the decreased cost of operations that an experienced technician offers. Contracting outside sources eliminates the necessity to hire resources within the hospital. In house specialists not only require a salary but continued training that can be expensive. Hiring a company that provides the services you need when you need them can offer a standardized approach to repairs within your facility. This ensures the most economical approach at repair equipment quickly while providing patients with top notch equipment and abundant treatment options. Quality Medical equipment maintenance specialists render instance access to the highest level of technicians available for even the most complex medical devices. Independent service technicians are device trained often directly from the OEM. Technicians are provided with current service manuals, test fixtures, symptomatic tools, and they can participate during an ongoing training for highly enhanced medical equipment. It is extremely costly to expect in house technicians to have up to date training on the vast array of medical devices. An in house tech may be able to adequately maintain devices to a degree but detailed repairs should be left to trained professionals specializing in medical equipment repairs. Acceletronics is an independent service company dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from Linear Accelerators and CT Scanners across all major brands and models. Learn more about Acceletronics and their selection of new and refurbished linear accelerators and CT scanners today at http://www.acceletronics.com. To contact one of our Linac experts call 610.524.3300.