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New cancer treatment optionSubmitted: 04/04/2014
Story By Dan McKinney

New cancer treatment option
WAUSAU - You can treat cancer many different ways, but a new treatment offered in the Northwoods is having positive results. HDR Brachytherapy is available at Aspirus Regional Cancer Center in Wausau.

It's a type of radiation treatment that cuts down on patient treatment times. It also means fewer visits to the hospital.

"What Brachy means is putting it in contact with in this case with the tumor," says Jeff Masten, Aspirus Chief Physicist. "This is a special technique that's used in gynecological cases in pulmonary or lung cancers sometimes, prostate cancers, and then breast cancer."

Not every type of cancer can be treated with HDR Brachytherapy. The HDR stands for high dose rate. The radiation is so intense doctors can't be in the same room during treatment. Doctors can use the treatment on many different cancers.

"This actually is a robot," says Masten. "We program it so that a runs the source out on a long flexible wire into an applicator which varies depending on the type of cancer we're treating, breast, lung or gynecological or prostate."

Aspirus has been using Brachytherapy since August.




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