RECTAL CANCER

What to Expect

An effective, less disruptive treatment option

The Radixact® System provides an alternative (or complement) to surgical intervention, delivering a non-invasive form of radiation therapy called image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT). The unique design and capabilities of the Radixact System helps to maximize radiation delivered to the target(s) – while helping to minimize radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissues. The result is highly personalized, highly precise treatment designed to significantly reduce the risk of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary side effects that too often disrupt the lives of rectal cancer patients during and after treatment. The Radixact System is one of the most integrated, advanced systems for comprehensive cancer treatment available today, enabling precise treatment of rectal cancer. The system is typically used to treat locally advanced rectal cancer.

NON-SURGICAL

Radixact treatment is an outpatient procedure that does not require incisions or general anesthesia. Most patients will not require hospitalization or a long recovery period. If chemotherapy is recommended as part of your treatment your medical oncologist will explain the treatment process to you, which may include hospitalization.

REDUCED INCIDENCE OF SIDE EFFECTS

The Radixact System delivers the required radiation dose to the target with high precision, which can significantly reduce the most common side effects of radiation therapy.

A faster return to everyday life

With Radixact treatment, the majority of patients can continue normal activity during and immediately following treatment. Just as important, the Radixact System is designed to minimize dose to healthy tissues and reduce the risk of side effects, with the goal of improving patient quality of life both during and after treatment. In some circumstances, side effects may occur.

Your Radixact Treatment Process

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The Radixact System treatment process begins with a consultation with a radiation oncologist who will provide perspective on this as a treatment option specific to your condition. The physician will review your diagnostic results, imaging and other medical conditions.

YOUR TEAM

Rectal cancer treatment with the Radixact System involves a multi-disciplinary team approach, which may include several specialists:

  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Medical Physcist
  • Radiation Therapist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Surgical oncologist/Colorectal surgeon
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Medical Support Staff

PREPARING FOR TREATMENT

Prior to Radixact treatment, you will undergo imaging scans so that your treatment team can determine the exact size, shape and location of your tumor, as well as nearby anatomy.

TREATMENT PLAN

Following this preparatory visit, you could return for specific imaging for radiation therapy treatment planning. Using CT, MRI and/or PET scan data, your treatment team will determine the area(s) to be targeted by radiation, the radiation dose, and identify critical structures – such as the rest of the digestive tract, bladder and reproductive organs – where radiation should be minimized.

The medical physicist will then calculate a precision-optimized delivery plan, leveraging the Radixact System’s sophisticated treatment planning algorithms to help deliver a safe and personalized treatment.

RADIATION TREATMENT

Approximately one to two weeks after your treatment plan is finalized, you will begin radiation treatment sessions. In most cases, you will also continue your chemotherapy treatment. Radiation treatment sessions are non-invasive outpatient procedures, and nothing will be required of you during treatment. No need for restraints or for you to hold your breath during treatment. No anesthesia is required during the radiation treatment. If chemotherapy is recommended as part of your treatment your medical oncologist will explain the schedule and timing.

On each treatment day, you will be carefully positioned on the treatment table. The Radixact System acts as both a CT scanner and treatment delivery machine. This unique combination enables doctors to take a CT scan immediately before each treatment. With that image, they can verify the position of the tumor and, if necessary, adjust your position to help make sure radiation is delivered with high precision.

Once the short imaging procedure is complete, treatment delivery will begin. As the Radixact patient couch moves you at a deliberate pace through the center of the system, radiation beamlets are delivered precisely to the treatment area from 360 degrees.

You can expect your Radixact treatment to require daily sessions for one to several weeks. Because the Radixact System can deliver radiation continuously, without requiring interruptions to reposition, the entire treatment process typically lasts 10-20 minutes – including patient set-up time.

POST-TREATMENT

The majority of patients can continue normal activity during and immediately following treatment. Most patients experience minimal side effects and can quickly return to their daily routines with little interruption to their normal activities during or following their treatment.

Your medical team will discuss all possible side effects prior to treatment and may prescribe medication to control any side effects, should they occur. You also should schedule and attend any follow-up appointments.

Find a Radixact Treatment Center

Learn More About Radixact Treatment

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