Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
Intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, is a specialized form of 3D-CRT that allows radiation to be more exactly shaped to fit the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation beam can be broken up into many “beamlets,” and the intensity of each beamlet can be adjusted individually. Using IMRT, it may be possible to further limit the amount of radiation that is received by healthy tissue near the tumor. In some situations, this may also allow a higher dose of radiation to be delivered to the tumor, potentially increasing the chance of a cure.
Statement: Email Hoax Regarding Cancer
Information falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins called, “CANCER UPDATE FROM JOHN HOPKINS” describes properties of cancer cells and suggests ways of preventing cancer. Johns Hopkins did not publish the information, which often is an email attachment, nor do we endorse its contents. The email also contains an incorrect spelling of our institution as “John” Hopkins whereas, the correct spelling is “Johns” Hopkins. For more information about cancer, please read the information on our web site or visit the National Cancer Institute. Please help combat the spread of this hoax by letting others know of this statement.
Another hoax email that has been circulating since 2004 regarding plastic containers, bottles, wrap claiming that heat releases dioxins which cause cancer also was not published by Johns Hopkins. More information from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Mythbusters: Please help curb the spread of this hoax by sending a link to this page to individuals that forward you this email.
Is Radiation Therapy Safe
Some patients are concerned about the safety of radiation therapy. Radiation has been used successfully to treat patients for more than 100 years. In that time, many advances have been made to ensure that radiation therapy is safe and effective.
Before you begin receiving radiation therapy, your radiation oncology team will carefully tailor your plan to make sure that you receive safe and accurate treatment. Treatment will be carefully planned to focus on the cancer while avoiding healthy organs in the area. Throughout your treatment, members of your team check and re-check your plan. Special computers are also used to monitor and double-check the treatment machines to make sure that the proper treatment is given. If you undergo external beam radiation therapy, you will not be radioactive after treatment ends because the radiation does not stay in your body. However, if you undergo brachytherapy, tiny radioactive sources will be implanted inside your body, in the tumor or in the tissue surrounding the tumor, either temporarily or permanently. Your radiation oncologist will explain any special precautions that you or your family and friends may need to take.
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What It Feels Like
The beauty of hyperthermia is that doesnt harm normal cells and tissues. However, Dr. Yus patients often question whether hyperthermia might burn.
Hyperthermia often feels like a heating pad. Most patients do not find it uncomfortable, she says.
Wire thermometers are used so doctors can monitor temperatures and prevent overheating.
Yet even with this precaution, about 10 percent of hyperthermia patients develop temporary skin blisters. These typically heal quickly, she says.
How Cancer Growscancer Is The Same Thing As A Tumor Not All Tumors Are Cancerous But All Cancers Are Tumors Tumors Are A Group Of Cells That Gather Somewhere They Do Not Belong In The Body If The Right Conditions Exist Those Cells Multiply Until A Membrane Holds Them In
Under the right circumstances, cancer tumor cells break out of that membrane and look for paths to other body parts, so they can spread further. The bodys lymph node system is the human version of a rapid transit system. Lymph nodes have hubs, like a subway transfer station, that carry good and bad things throughout the body. Certain cancers have better access to this transit system than other cancer cells. Better access to the bodys transit system means cancer spreads quickly.
According to the National Institute of Health, chronic stress plays a significant role in how quickly cancer may spread. Cortisol is a substance that plays a major role in a persons ability to survive in life. Extensive studies show that when someone remains under chronic stress it adversely affects the bodys cortisol levels. Hormones affected by the pituitary gland and the sympathetic nervous system undergo constant stimulation when someone is pressured and stressed. Biologically, overactive hormones tend to feed tumors. When cancer-related tumors have fuel, they grow and spread just like everything does in nature. Plants and yeast do the same thing with a positive outcome.
However, providing fuel to cancer cells has negative consequences. Subsequently, anything a patient and those around them can do to reduce their chronic stress can help lower the hormones feeding cancer cells.
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Nanotechnology For The Future
Advances in chemistry and physics have provided an attractive array of nanoparticles and devices for use in biomedical applications.13 For drug delivery, liposomes or other polymer-based nanoparticles can be used to transport drug payloads to be released by induced heating that melts the polymer shell. Iron nanoparticles in the cancer can be heated by an external magnetic field set to frequencies that produce heat within the cancer. For the magnetic resonance imaging of cancer, superparamagnetic 510-nm iron-oxide particles are in clinical trials.
Several years ago, scientists at a military technology company developed resin-impregnated magnetic nanoparticles designed to heat when exposed to a magnetic field to repair military armor and to warn of the presence of biologic and chemical warfare agents. These scientists hypothesized that a biocompatible magnetic nanoparticle attached to an antibody could target cancer cells, precluding the need to inject the particles directly into the cancer. Collaborative studies with scientists from the University of Massachusetts suggested the selectivity of antibody-conjugated iron-oxide nanoparticles to kill cancer cells in culture.
The Hoax: Chemotherapy And Radiation Therapy Harms Normal Cells Surgery Causes Cancer To Spread
The Truth: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy kills cancer cells with remarkable selectivity, says Nelson. There are some temporary and reversible side effects common to cancer therapies, including hair loss and low blood counts. Limiting and managing these side effects is an integral part of treatment.
Surgery is the first line of treatment for many types of cancer. It does not cause cancer to spread. Cancers spread to other tissues and organs as a tumor progresses and cancer cells break away from the original tumor and travel through the bloodstream to other body sites.Back to top of page
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What Are The Side Effects Of Hormone Therapy For Prostate Cancer
Testosterone is the primary male hormone and plays an important role in establishing and maintaining the male sex characteristics, such as body hair, muscle mass, sexual desire, and erectile function. Most men who are on hormone therapy experience at least some effects related to the loss of testosterone, but the degree to which you will be affected by any one drug regimen is impossible to predict. Side effects from testosterone-lowering therapies include hot flashes, breast enlargement or tenderness, loss of bone mineral density and fractures, increased weight gain , higher cholesterol, a higher risk of diabetes, and a slightly higher risk of heart problems like heart attacks and chest pains. Some men complain of mood problems and depression during this time as well. Dont be afraid to discuss these issues with your doctors. For all of these reasons, maintaining a healthy overall lifestyle is vital to doing well with hormonal therapies over time.
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Treating Cancer With Heat: Past And Present
Despite its effectiveness, the promise of hyperthermia as a stand-alone treatment for cancer has yet to be realized, with few exceptions. Major technical barriers have been an inability to localize effective levels of heat in the cancer without subjecting the patient to dangerous stress.7,8 Thus, techniques for more selective heat delivery and noninvasive, predictive tissue dosimetry are needed to exploit the potential of hyperthermia to treat cancer.
Heating has been accomplished by using various methods, including: thermal conduction of heat away from a source at higher temperature a combination of resistive and dielectric losses in tissue from an applied electromagnetic field insertion of a susceptor material in tissues that heats from an applied electromagnetic field or mechanical losses from molecular oscillations caused by an ultrasonic pressure wave. In the simplest forms of hyperthermia, tissue is heated by circulating externally preheated blood through the tissue, by placing a heated surface on the skin or body cavities, or by implanting wire, needle, or catheter heat sources. Other heating methods include shortwave diathermy, radiofrequency capacitative heating, microwaves, ultrasound, and interstitial implants.6
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Different Types Of Pain And How To Describe It
Pain does not feel the same for everyone. Describing your pain clearly will help your doctor or nurse find the best treatment. Try to explain to them where the pain is, what it’s like , how bad it is and when you are in pain. It can also help to describe how the pain changes over time and what makes it better or worse.
Keeping a pain diary can help you explain your pain to your doctor or nurse, and it can help them plan the best treatment.
Are Biopsies What Makes Cancer Spread Quicklythis Is A Long
An 11-year study of patients with pancreatic cancer showed those who had biopsies lived an average of 22 months, as opposed to 15 months for patients who did not undergo a biopsy. Researchers speculate that this myth originated many years ago when obtaining a biopsy involved very invasive methods using improperly sterilized instruments and performed by technicians who had little skills or knowledge about proper techniques.
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Treatment By Stage Of Prostate Cancer
Different treatments may be recommended for each stage of prostate cancer. Your doctor will work with you to develop a specific treatment plan based on the cancers stage and other factors. Detailed descriptions of each type of treatment are provided earlier on this same page. Clinical trials may also be a treatment option for each stage.
Early-stage prostate cancer
Early-stage prostate cancer usually grows very slowly and may take years to cause any symptoms or other health problems, if it ever does at all. As a result, active surveillance or watchful waiting may be recommended. Radiation therapy or surgery may also be suggested, as well as treatment in clinical trials. For those with a higher Gleason score, the cancer may be faster growing, so radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy are often recommended. Your doctor will consider your age and general health before recommending a treatment plan.
ASCO, the American Urological Association, American Society of Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology recommend that patients with high-risk early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread to other areas of the body should receive radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy with hormonal therapy as standard treatment options.
Locally advanced prostate cancer
Watchful waiting may be considered for older adults who are not expected to live for a long time and whose cancer is not causing symptoms or for those who have another, more serious illness.
How Hyperthermia Is Given
During treatment, the doctor numbs the treatment area and inserts small probes with tiny thermometers into the tumor. Thermometers help the doctor closely watch the temperature of the tumor and nearby tissue during treatment. Imaging techniques, such as CT scans, may be used to make sure the probes are in the proper place.
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Cancers Treated With Hyperthermia
Hyperthermia to treat cancer is not widely available. But at some centers it is used, along with other treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, for advanced cancers. It has been used to treat these types of advanced cancers:
- appendix cancer
In hyperthermia, heat is used to help damage and kill cancer cells.
Hyperthermia is almost always used with other forms of cancer treatment. Many clinical trials have shown that hyperthermia, when used with treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, helps shrink tumors and may make it easier for them to kill cancer cells.
Surgery For Prostate Cancer
There are many types of surgery for prostate cancer. Some are done to try to cure the cancer others are done to control the cancer or make symptoms better. Talk to the doctor about the kind of surgery planned and what you can expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know so they can help you.
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Does My Attitudepositive Or Negativedetermine My Risk Of Or Likely Recovery From Cancer
To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that links a persons attitude to his or her risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you have cancer, its normal to feel sad, angry, or discouraged sometimes and positive or upbeat at other times. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Psychological Stress and Cancer.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
When this happens, you may notice things like:
- an increased need to pee
- straining while you pee
- a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer.
Itâs more likely theyâre caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.
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Other Thermal Cancer Treatments At Umgccc
Hyperthermia therapy is just one of the many cancer treatments offered at UMGCCC that uses heat.
Other types of thermal cancer treatments include:
- Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy , which uses heated chemotherapy along with surgery to treat cancers that have spread to the lining of the abdomen
- Radiofrequency thermal ablation, used to treat liver tumors
- MRI-guided focused ultrasound, which UMGCCC doctors are using in clinical trials to open the blood-brain barrier to more effectively deliver chemotherapy to brain tumors
- Laser interstitial thermal therapy, another treatment similar to hyperthermia therapy used to treat brain and other tumors of the central nervous system
What Are The Common Warning Signs Of Cancer
Cancer is a medical condition in which the body cells grow out of control and crowd out the normal cells. This makes it hard for the body to work the way it should. Cancer can start at any place in the bodybe it the lungs, breast, colon or even blood. Cancer is alike in some way, but it is different in the ways it grows and spreads. Seven common warning signs of cancer are described below.
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How Is Hyperthermia Used To Treat Cancer
Treatment can be local, regional or whole-body hyperthermia, depending on the extent of the area being treated.
Local hyperthermia is used to heat a small area like a tumor. Very high temperatures are used to kill the cancer cells and destroy nearby blood vessels. In effect, this cooks the area that is exposed to the heat. And, as with cooking, the higher the temperature and duration of exposure, the greater the effect seen within tissues. Thermal ablation comprises the treatments where very high temperatures cause irreversible damage to cells whereas smaller rises in temperature constitute mild hyperthermia. Radio waves, microwaves, ultrasound waves, and other forms of energy can be used to heat the area. When ultrasound is used, the technique is called high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, sometimes also referred to as just focused ultrasound.
The heat may be applied in different ways:
- High energy waves are aimed at a tumor near the body surface from a machine outside the body.
- A thin needle or probe is put right into the tumor. The tip of the probe releases energy, which heats the tissue around it.
RFA can be used to treat tumors up to about 2 inches across. It is most commonly used to treat tumors in the liver, kidneys, and lungs, and is being studied for use in other areas of the body. Long-term outcomes after RFA treatment are not yet known, but early results are encouraging.
How Hyperthermia Therapy Works
Hyperthermia therapy is a noninvasive procedure that does not require general anesthesia. It involves heating tumors to 104 to 111 degrees Fahrenheit . Internal and external temperature probes allow doctors to continuously monitor the therapeutic temperature to ensure the treatment is delivered correctly.
The heat opens up the blood vessels in the tumor, which fills them with more oxygen. This extra oxygen makes tumor cells more sensitive to other forms of standard therapy, including radiation and chemotherapy.
In addition, the heat has been shown to boost some patients’ immune systems, which can help them better fight cancer.
Hyperthermia therapy can also be an important treatment for tumors that occur in areas that were previously treated with radiation therapy.
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