Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)

Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, or 3D-CRT, uses computers and special imaging techniques such as PET, MRI, or CT scanning to reveal the size, shape and location of the tumour.

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How does Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) work?

Because tumours are not all the same, i.e. they come in all shapes and sizes, three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, or 3D-CRT, uses computers and special imaging techniques such as PET, MRI, or CT scanning to reveal the size, shape and location of the tumour as well as adjacent organs, with a radiation treatment plan then tailored specifically to every patient’s anatomy.

At the beginning of the planning stage, a radiographer will perform a CT scan of the part of the body being treated. These images are then loaded into a computer specific to the purpose and used to devise a radiation treatment plan. The plan is to enable your radiation oncologist to deliver with precision, a beam of radiation that conforms closely to the shape, size and contour of the tumour. Because the radiation beams are directed very precisely, nearby normal tissue receives less radiation than cancerous tissue and is therefore able to heal more quickly.

We work together to combine the highest levels of consultant-led care and patient choice with the most advanced knowledge and understanding of the disease and its forms.

Cancers Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) can treat

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that begin in one or both lungs, often in the cells that line the air passages. The abnormal cells divide more quickly than normal cells and form tumours. The tumour increases in size and eventually learns to spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body via the blood stream.
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Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years but in a small proportion of men, it can grow more swiftly and in some cases spread to other parts of the body, in particular the bones. It is the most common cancer in men in the UK.
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Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer occurs when normal cells change and develop in an abnormal way or form a malignant tumour. When cancer cells develop within the vagina itself, it is known as Primary Vaginal Cancer. If it spreads from another part of the body for example, from the neck (cervix) or lining of the womb, it is known as Secondary Vaginal Cancer.
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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Almost 60,000 women are diagnosed with this disease every year, with an extra 7,400 breast cancer sufferers diagnosed with an earlier, non-invasive form, confined to a specific area of the breast (usually milk ducts) but which may later acquire the ability to spread.
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Q. Will this treatment hurt?

A. No, administering this treatment won’t cause any pain. However, side-effects from the treatment may cause some discomfort.

Q. How long will the treatment take?

A. Radiation therapy usually only takes a few minutes and is repeated over a set number of sessions based on your condition.

Q. What side effects can I expect?

A. Side effects are unique to each patient; however, they go away once the treatment is complete. Common side effects can include skin reactions and hair loss at the site of treatment, nutritional problems, fatigue, and a reduction in white blood cells.

Q. Will I be radioactive after the treatment?

A. No, once the treatment is complete you won’t be radioactive as the radiation is administered externally. Once complete it’s perfectly safe for you to be around other people.

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