Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A outline of Radiation Oncology - A Introduction

The beginning of the 20th century was marked by many health problems like plague, Dengue, Cholerae, etc., which all were due basic sanitation issues that arose due to industrial revolution and war situations during world wars. These problems were very well tackled with the advent of effective antibiotics.

The end of 20th century started facing a new kind of health problem in the form of CANCER. The word Cancer itself now turned into a worrisome issue. This disease is mostly due to the modern lifestyle and changing trends in the environment. Whatever the problem we face we ourself find the solution for that.

Yes. For cancer also we found many form of treatment, one of which is the RADIOTHERAPY and the branch of medicine that deals with it is the RADIATION ONCOLOGY.

When we hear the word radiation definitely ,we definitely tend to recall the incident happened to Japan in second world war through Nuclear bomb. Many incidents happened after that like Bokran Nuclear Tests, Bhopal Tragedy, Kalpakkam nuclear reactor, Famous Koodangulam Nuclear project and the famous Nuclear treaty signed by India with US followed with other countries too. Though we read this, hear this on medias, most of us are unaware of the fact that the same Radiation is used to treat the deadliest disease CANCER.

Ofcourse. From the day Roentegen discovered X-Ray followed by the treatment of Breast cancer patient by Dr. Gabreal supposed to be the first radiation oncologist, the miracles of Radiotherapy came to light.

Initially the Radiation treatment was done with the help of low energy X-Rays with out any proper gudelines and treatment protocols which added many side effects. In the early 1930's one institute in England started Radiotherapy department for the treatment of cancers followed by the Barnard Institute of Radiation Oncology in Madras Medical College which become the Asia's First premier institute to start the Radiotherapy department.

In the Late 1950's the X-Rays were overtaken by Cobalt-60 isotopes which made a revolution in the treatment of cancers all over the world. Later many isotope sources like Caecium, Iridium, Radium, etc., were introduced in radiotherapy which are used in different ways.

In the late 1980's a new form of machine called LINEAR ACCELERATOR was introduced which paved the way for hitech treatment planning reducing the side effects and improving the quality of life of people. The beginning of 21st century witnessed new innovations in the field of Radiotherapy like CYBER KNIFE, Intensity modulated radiotherapy, Image guided radiotherapy, Stereotactic radiosurgery etc.,

Radiation which is one of the cause of the cancer becomes the treatment for the same when properly planned and executed with proper radiation generators.

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