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Cancer Care Excellence / Special Medical Services

Cancer Care Excellence / Special Medical Services

Linear Accelerator (LINAC)

A linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. The radiation levels can be categorized as follows:

  1. 6 MV suitable for abnormalities no deeper than 10
  2. 18 MV suitable for abnormalities deeper than 10


LINAC is able to offer Conventional therapy, 3D-CRT (Three dimensions conformal radiation therapy), or IMRT (Intensity modulated radiation therapy) and can be used on any part of the body.


Indication for LINAC use

  • Brain tumors
  • Cancer that has spread to the brain or a reccurrence of a brain tumor
  • Cancer around the head and neck area
  • Spine, prostate, and lug cancer
  • Tumors located in areas where vital organs are sensitive to radiation


Advantages of LINAC

  1. Advanced technology that offers higher accuracy treatment
  2. Suitable for tumors in areas where vital organs are sensitive to radiation
  3. Able to make adjustments to suit the tumor's size and shape
  4. Reduce damage done to tissue and surrounding organs
  5. Reduces time required for radiological therapy
  6. Patients do not need to be hospitalized


Preparation Before LINAC

  1. The patient should receive a health check-up as well as a detailed medical history check. Blood tests will also be required.
  2. Recommended to wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes
  3. Diet- eat beneficial/nutritional food. Drink at least 6-8 glass of water while reducing smoking and alcohol consumption
  4. Have a good oral and body hygiene.
  5. In case you have a pre-existing condition or are on medication it is recommended to inform your attending physician and ask if you should continue consumption
  6. Proecedure may take some time, as such try to set a side an appropriate amount of time, as well as prepare your travel and accomodation needs.


Risks and Side-effects of LINAC

  1. Changes in the area of skin that received therapy. For 1-2 weeks your skin may swell, redden, become dry, itch, peel off, scabs.
  2. Feelings of weariness are normal symptoms after radiation exposure, other symptoms may include a decrease in appetite
  3. Low immunity, paleness, easily bleeding. This is due to radiation exposure affecting the function of bone marrow (if treatment was given to areas with high concentration). A CBC test may be conducted.
  4. Complications such as Mucositis and diarrhea
  5. Dry mouth, especially treatment given in the head, neck, salivary gland areas
  6. Symptoms associated with the gastrointestinal tract
  7. Neurological symptoms if treatment was given to the brain area
  8. Symptoms to do with reproductive system for example if therapy was provided in the pelvic area. In men it can lead to erectile dysfunction, women may experience hormonal changes.