A beam of light in cancer care

Due to developments in medicine and technology over the decades, the reaction to a cancer diagnosis has shifted from helpless to hopeful in countless cases. Modern radiation therapy, in particular, has contributed to driving this change. Radiotherapy is needed in over 50 per cent of cancer patients and involved in 40 per cent of cancer cures.

Radiation therapy works by destroying cancer cells with targeted high energy beams, stopping the cells from dividing and growing. The treatment is recommended for more than half of all people with cancer, either as a standalone therapy or together with other cancer treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.

Recent developments in the field of radiation therapy are making it even more effective with better outcomes. These include the possibility to treat patients with the most difficult tumours, patients that traditionally have had limited options.

Significant advances have been made regarding the precision of the beam and calculating the optimal dose for each individual and each tumour. Sweden-headquartered Elekta has played a crucial role in these advancements, including integrating the treatment machine with computerised tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), so clinicians can see the tumour while they are treating it. This is essential to effectively eradicate cancer cells with as little damage as possible to healthy tissue.

Today, many cancer diagnoses present a much more hopeful prognosis than in the past. With an array of different treatments to choose from, many patients whose cancer is detected at an early stage can be cured. Although complete elimination of all cancer is a common goal, an increasing number of patients are living long and fruitful lives with cancer as a chronic, treatable disease. Precision radiation therapy has helped achieve this success and will continue to play an important role in overcoming cancer.

Elekta is a Swedish company bringing together science, technology and clinical intelligence to revolutionise cancer care. For almost five decades, Elekta has been a leader in precision radiation medicine.

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