New technology makes radiation treatment easier for patients, do - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

New technology makes radiation treatment easier for patients, doctors

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Believe it or not, when prostate cancer patient James Morgan talks about his radiation therapy our Mary Bird Perkins Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center he says this:

"It was a pleasant experience.” 

Morgan was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer last year, and needed 44 rounds of radiation.  However, what Morgan describes as a scary situation was made easier with a brand new, state of the art radiation machine the Versa HD.

"It's easy as far as treatment goes. It's painless. There's no sensation. There's no nausea. There's no burn. It's very fast," said radiation oncologist Dr. Charles Wood.

The Cancer Center’s Medical Director Dr. Charles Wood explains that tumors come in all shapes and sizes, and often grow irregularly, making it difficult to target the bad cells without also harming good cells.   Unlike older radiation technology, the Versa HD allows doctors to precisely target cancerous areas, and deliver the treatment in just minutes with fewer side effects. 

“That enables us to treat smaller tumors that are next to critical structures that may be damaged by older radiation techniques. So we're able to treat a wider variety of patients," said Wood.

As a part of the $23 million renovations on going at the Cancer Center, the treatment room was also specially designed to ease a patient's anxiety.  The room is full of ambient light that changes colors, and patients can watch TV or listen to the music of their choice during the treatment.

"It's not intimidating, it’s quiet,” said Morgan of his experience.

"If we've been able to avoid stress before the treatment, during the treatment, after the treatment we've helped the patient," said Wood.

The Cancer Center has been using the Versa HD machine for several months, and has received good feedback from patients.  It cost $2.5 million.

Morgan finished his treatments in early July, and has been given a clean bill of health.

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