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.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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