-: RADIOTHERAPY DEPARTMENT :-
An Oncology Unit started in July 1982 when Padhar Hospital implemented the Theratron 780 Teletherapy unit, Asia’s first Cobalt unit in a rural setting. The machine keeps up serving us very effectively and we could treat over 10,500 cancer patients so far.
In February 1987, with the help of the Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation USA, an Amersham Manual Afterloading Brachytherapy Unit was installed. The machine inaugurated by thespian Mr. Sunil Dutt has helped treating more than 1500 patients with cervix cancer (accounting for about 30% of all our cancer patients). So far about 4000 women have been treated using these two modalities.
Under Dr. Anant Kekre interstitial implants with the Ir-192 wire have been first carried out in 1992, benefiting patients with malignancies of the breast, head and neck.
In April 2008, again with the kind assistance of the Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation USA and Friends of Padhar UK, we received a High Dose Radiation Brachytherapy Unit that has been inaugurated by the Member of Parliament Ms. Priya Dutt. This modern unit includes a Treatment Planning System with multisource facilities for intracavitary, intraluminal and interstitial implants.
Our Palliative Care Unit was started in January 2000 to address the needs of cancer patients with advanced disease. Applying a multiprofessional approach, our interdisciplinary care team - consisting of an oncologist, a physician, a nurse, a RT technician and a counsellor - strives to provide control of pain, psycho-social and spiritual counselling and support for the patients as well as counselling and bereavement support for the family as needed.
According to our hospital based cancer registry, head and neck cancers account for about 50% of all cancer cases, cervix cancer for 20%, breast cancer for 8%, esophagus cancer for 8% and lung cancer for 7% - besides other malignancies. Approximately 1000 new cancer patients are registered each year.
After the installation of the Theratron 780 in 1982 we had a new source in 2006 (?). A HDR Brachytherapy (with miniaturized Co-60 source) has been installed in 2008. Furthermore we launched the Treatment planning System (using the “Radplan” system for planning radiation treatment) for external beam treatment and the Treatment Planning System (HDR Plus) for the application of Brachytherapy too.
Padhar Hospital has organized various cancer conferences and CMEs over the years, featuring numerous eminent speakers and personalities from the fraternity. We also celebrate Cancer Vijay Diwas, a special day on which we felicitate survivors of cancer at a public meeting and present them a mango sapling to plant in their own village.
Furthermore, free cancer detection camps are held routinely and we offer financial assistance to poor cancer patients through various agencies including Rajya Bimari Sahayta, the Prime Minister Relief Fund, Shridi Saibaba Samiti etc.
It is with great joy we announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India to replace our aging Teletherapy Unit and to upgrade our cancer services. The new Bhabatron Teletherapy Machine will be, God willing, installed and functional by the end of this year.
-: MEDICAL PHYSICS DEPARTMENT :-
Radiation safety is one o f the most important aspects in cancer treatment and requires the expertise of medical physicists. We have been truly blessed with an excellent medical physics department which carries out all radiation safety protocols.
We have been certified by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board as a recognized Radiation Oncology Centre and we follow all necessary rules laid by the Central Government and the IAEA. We have an entire range of safety instruments for calibration and dispensing of radiation including dosimeters, survey meters, gamma zone monitors and TLD Badges.
In our medical physics department we have a number of brilliant modalities of treatment at disposal whose functions we would like to explain here.
In radiotherapy, Gamma rays, X-rays and particle radiation are used in a safely planned mode in the treatment of Cancer. Radiation may be produced from radioactive isotopes (like Co-60, Ir-192, Cs-130, I-131 etc), which emit high-energy gamma radiation or with the help of a Linear Accelerator, which gives very high energy X-Ray beam.
THERATRON-780 TELETHERAPY MACHINE:
We have Co-60 (Cobalt-60) radioisotope loaded into the THERATRON-780 Teletherapy machine. Co-60 radioisotope has a half-life of 5.26 years with average radiation energy of 1.25 MeV. A fine beam of radiation from the Co-60 source can be directed to strike tumours without affecting surrounding normal tissues. However a small amount of radiation does pass through normal tissue, which is unavoidable in radiotherapy.
MULTISOURCE HDR BRACHYTHERAPY:
Recently we installed a High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy unit. Brachytherapy is an integral part of treatment modalities in Radiotherapy. The new system reduces treatment time from 2-3 days to 15 to 20 minutes. This is basically an outpatient or short stay treatment and is therefore patient friendly. Our machine is India’s first HDR Remote Afterloading system with miniaturized Co-60 source and 20 Channels. The source is automatically loaded into the machine, and then positioned inside the patient’s body prior to irradiation, thus providing complete radiation safety to medical professionals.
TREATMENT PLANNING SYSTEM:
The TPS is a system that sets up a treatment schedule individually for every patient according to the stage of cancer. Therefore the TPS uses two dedicated computers for teletherapy and Brachytherapy treatment planning. Ultrasound, CT, MRI Scans and special X-Ray reports are fed into the Treatment Planning System to help decide the best possible treatment modality for the cancer.
IMPORTANT MEDICAL ADVICE
CANCER IS CURABLE IF DETECTED EARLY. DO VISIT YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS OF CANCER:
1. Any sore/ulcer that does not heal
2. A lump in the breast or elsewhere
3. Unusual bleeding or discharge
4. Any change in size or appearance of wart or mole
5. Persistent indigestion or difficulties in swallowing
6. Persistent hoarseness or cough
7. Any change in normal bowel habit