Linear Accelerator (LINAC)

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Linear Accelerator (LINAC)

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About LINAC

A linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. The radiation levels can be categorized as follows:
6 MV suitable for abnormalities no deeper than 10
18 MV suitable for abnormalities deeper than 10
LINAC is able to offer Conventional therapy, 3D-CRT (Three dimensions conformal radiation therapy), or IMRT (Intensity modulated radiation therapy) and can be used on any part of the body.


Indication for LINAC use

  • Brain tumors
  • Cancer that has spread to the brain or a reccurrence of a brain tumor
  • Cancer around the head and neck area
  • Spine, prostate, and lug cancer
  • Tumors located in areas where vital organs are sensitive to radiation

Advantages of LINAC

  • Advanced technology that offers higher accuracy treatment
  • Suitable for tumors in areas where vital organs are sensitive to radiation
  • Able to make adjustments to suit the tumor’s size and shape
  • Reduce damage done to tissue and surrounding organs
  • Reduces time required for radiological therapy
  • Patients do not need to be hospitalized

Preparation Before LINAC

  • The patient should receive a health check-up as well as a detailed medical history check. Blood tests will also be required.
  • Recommended to wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes
  • Diet- eat beneficial/nutritional food. Drink at least 6-8 glass of water while reducing smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Have a good oral and body hygiene.
  • In case you have a pre-existing condition or are on medication it is recommended to inform your attending physician and ask if you should continue consumption
  • Proecedure may take some time, as such try to set a side an appropriate amount of time, as well as prepare your travel and accomodation needs.

Risks and Side-effects of LINAC

  • Changes in the area of skin that received therapy. For 1-2 weeks your skin may swell, redden, become dry, itch, peel off, scabs.
  • Feelings of weariness are normal symptoms after radiation exposure, other symptoms may include a decrease in appetite
  • Low immunity, paleness, easily bleeding. This is due to radiation exposure affecting the function of bone marrow (if treatment was given to areas with high concentration). A CBC test may be conducted.
  • Complications such as Mucositis and diarrhea
  • Dry mouth, especially treatment given in the head, neck, salivary gland areas
  • Symptoms associated with the gastrointestinal tract
  • Neurological symptoms if treatment was given to the brain area
  • Symptoms to do with reproductive system for example if therapy was provided in the pelvic area. In men it can lead to erectile dysfunction, women may experience hormonal changes.

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