Kolkata : Medica Cancer Hospital, the only Cancer hospital in the North-Eastern India has introduced a high-end radiotherapy machine Halcyon with Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) & Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), to its considerable bouquet of advanced services offered. With cancer incidence rates at double the national average, calling North-East India ‘the cancer capital’ is no longer an exaggeration. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the national average of reported cancer incidences is 80-110 cases per lakh population, this number varies between 150-200 cases per lakh in the North-East. Within the region, specific districts such as Aizawl (Mizoram) and Papumpare (Arunachal Pradesh) have reported the highest age-adjusted cancer incidence rates within this regional belt. Aside from these regions, the state of Nagaland collectively hits a close second, with a population of just about 20 lakhs, and almost 1,300 reported cases of cancer every year. Reports suggests that in North-Eastern region one in four men and one in five women, respectively, are expected to get cancer. To mitigate this lack of proper cancer treatment, Medica Cancer Hospital has implemented multiple advanced technologies and the latest inclusion of Halcyon makes them the best state-of-the-art treatment centre for cancer not only in North-East India but also the neighbouring countries.
The Halcyon Radiation Therapy system’s targeted therapy ensures that damage to healthy tissues surrounding the tumour can be further avoided or minimised, which is of great benefit in cases such as cancer of the head and neck, prostate, lungs etc. The precisely delivered radiation with a tight focus prevents damage to healthy tissues and hence reduces side effects of cancer treatment. The advanced system also ensures completion of treatment in fewer steps as compared to the older radiation therapy system. Through use of intelligent automation, it reduces the treatment time and makes the therapy more comfortable for the patient.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sourav Dutta, Director Medica Cancer Hospitals, said “ Medica shall bring latest technologies in our cancer hospital here so that people from this region and nearby neighbouring states do not have to travel to other states for treatment. We shall offer all these treatment at an affordable cost which will be beneficial for the people.”
Dr Alok Roy, Chairman Medica Group of Hospitals & Chair FICCI health Services Committee, averred, “Medica Group of Hospitals, has always been the forerunner when it comes to advancement of technology. At Medica Cancer Hospital, we have always been a leader in enhancing cancer treatment in North-East and rest of India and have consistently remained a trailblazer in delivering state-of-the-art healthcare to our patients not only from India but also our neighbouring counties like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The Halcyon Radiation Therapy system is designed around the patient with the assurance of an enhanced connection, that allows our oncology team to deliver exceptional treatment with increased efficiency in a less intimidating environment that is comfortable and reassuring to the patients.”
Dr Alok Roy also stated, “The health infrastructure in most of the North-Eastern states and our neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar are not so well equipped to treat this caseload, which forces patients to travel long distances for treatment. Cancer-care facilities are limited to a handful of major cities, and patients need to make long, arduous journeys to tertiary care facilities for proper diagnosis or medical care. In addition to specialised medical care, cancer patients need clean surroundings to avoid secondary infections, to which they are prone because their immune systems are compromised by treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These are not always and readily available. On behalf of Medica Cancer Hospital, I will urge the citizens not to neglect cancer and get the treatment as early as possible before it gets too late.”
The Halcyon system has multiple benefits including automated treatment, comfort for the patient, ease of use for the oncology team, and accelerated installation timeframe with shortening of time from installation to first treatment without sacrificing quality. The system simplifies and enhances every aspect of the radiation therapy process, with image-guidance and intensity-modulation radiotherapy (IMRT) that improves patient comfort. With a streamlined workflow, the Halcyon system requires just nine steps from the start to the end of treatment compared to up to more than 30 steps with older technologies. The improved workflow increases the efficiency. Standardized workflows are easy to master, so clinicians can spend more time with patients.
An integrated intercom enables immediate and clear communication between the therapist and the patient. The quiet system with smooth motion and easy access keeps patients relaxed and focused. The 100 cm. diameter bore with integrated ambient lighting prevents claustrophobia.
The unique and innovative design of the Halcyon system allows clinicians to treat patients quickly and minimize motion, which is extremely important when treating patients with pelvic tumours such as prostate cancer and cervical cancer. The short treatment times could also eliminate the need for breath holds traditionally required during breast, esophageal and lung cancer treatments.
Medica Cancer Hospital, the solo Cancer hospital in the North-East region comprising North Bengal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and East Bihar is a 50-bed hospital situated a mere 14kms from the heart of Siliguri. The advanced cancer care hospital has been able to successfully fill a huge void in the healthcare facility of this region where state-of-the-art Radiation Therapy, as a part of comprehensive cancer treatment, was lacking. The services offered here include Radiation Oncology, Surgical Oncology and Medical Oncology, with 24×7 availability of Specialists.