CHH Cancer Center Upgrades its local Radiation Treatment Technology & Services

The physicians and caregivers at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Radiation Oncology Department are introducing Elekta VMAT technology as their newest treatment option for cancer patients that promises to significantly improve the patient experience. This technology upgrade adds to the hospital’s recent investments to its recently acquired Image Guided advanced radiation treatment system (IGRT), and is part of its on-going strategy and commitment to grow and expand cancer services at Torrington’s Center For Cancer Care.

“It provides less treatment time and more quality time for patients” said Elizabeth Whalen, MD, CHH Radiation Oncologist. “We are committed to offering our patients a wider range of treatment options close to home.”

This upgraded technology offers faster, more precise Cancer treatments by reducing the time required for radiotherapy sessions to five minutes or less, while giving clinicians the ability to treat targets more aggressively than ever before.

The technology incorporates Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), an innovative way to deliver radiation treatments that is a significant improvement over current approaches. With VMAT, the target area is continuously irradiated while the source of the beam rotates around the patient. This treatment offers dramatically shorter treatment times than the current intensity modulated radiation therapy, as fast as 5 minutes. Faster treatments improve patient comfort by reducing the time spent on the treatment table. Since treatment times are so short, the risk of clinically significant motion is greatly reduced.

This revolutionary treatment precisely conforms the radiation to a tumor’s shape. The radiation is delivered only to the intended area, allowing our expert staff to spare more surrounding healthy tissue and better avoid nearby critical anatomy. To further ensure accuracy, 3D imaging at ultra-low doses allows our staff to quickly and safely verify tumor position prior to treatment. Sophisticated monitoring tools further enhance precision by monitoring your treatment in real-time to ensure that the dose is delivered as precisely as your radiation oncologist prescribes it. Elekta VMAT can deliver treatments in either one or several rotations of the linear accelerator. Single arc treatments are naturally quite fast, but our first goal is to provide an optimal clinical treatment.

More good news is that the CHH Center For Cancer Care has also expanded the scope and services of its cancer program in Torrington with the addition of enhanced superficial therapy services used in the treatment of skin cancer. The new service effectively treats skin cancer through the use of a non-invasive therapeutic X-ray procedure with improved cosmetic outcomes. This procedure is accurate, safe and pain free. Superficial radiation therapy is a proven procedure for treating skin cancer and has a lower potential for cosmetic issues and a high cure rate history of effectiveness. The insurance industry, including Medicare part B widely accepts this procedure for re-imbursement.

The Center for Cancer Care also features a service for cancer patients affected with Lymphedema and several ccomplementary therapies, supportive measures that can be used along with conventional medical treatment. Complementary therapies alone are not a replacement nor substitute for traditional medical care, but an additional focus on the body, mind, spirit focus can assist the patient reduce stress and anxiety, manage symptoms, reduce pain and boost immunity, calm the mind, improve quality of life, and provide a means of coping with illnesses. Therapies are provided by dedicated and experienced individuals who are specially trained to work with oncology patients.

The Center for Cancer Care is an affiliation of The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital/Yale Cancer Center that provides the most advanced cancer detection, treatment and prevention methods available today to those affected by cancer in northwest Connecticut. The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital is a 109 bed, general acute care hospital located in Torrington, Connecticut, serving a twelve-town primary service area comprised of approximately 100,000 persons. The Hospital also serves as a regional health care resource for the residents of Litchfield County, situated in Northwestern Connecticut. Visit www.charlottehungerford.org

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