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Treating cancer with the linear accelerator

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Treatment technologies in the field of radiation oncology have certainly come a long way since the invention of the original X-ray machine 120 years ago.

A treatment known as stereotactic radiotherapy, administered through a device known as a linear accelerator, is now being used to deliver a very high, very precise dose of radiation directly to the cancerous tissue, while sparing the surrounding, healthy tissue.

Linear accelerators are being used to treat many forms of cancer, including prostate, breast, lung, head and neck.

While this form of therapy is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy and as an adjunct to surgery, oftentimes, it can actually eliminate the need for surgery to remove the cancerous mass.

Stereotactic radiotherapy has actually shown a 90 percent cure rate in stage 1 lung cancer cases, without the need of surgery to remove the tumor(s).

The new Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional opened last week, housing the network’s second TrueBeam linear accelerator.

By delivering powerful bursts of highly-focused radiation to kill cancer cells, this form of cancer therapy results in fewer side-effects and shorter treatment times. Our community is fortunate to have the latest advancement in radiation cancer treatment close to where we live and work.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Glenn Chrystal is a radiation oncologist and medical director of the Radiation Oncology Department at Cone Health Cancer Center at Alamance Regional.

Dr. Chrystal earned his Doctor of Medicine from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1983.

He completed his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Maryland Medical System in 1988.