3D brings cancer care to life
18 June 2017
Images jumping off the screen and donning darkened glasses, 3D viewing is something we’ve become used to at the cinema, and now being used at Southend University Hospital.
The radiotherapy department are using the eye-popping technology
to give patients a three dimensional insight into cancer treatment
at the Trust before they start treatment.
Sharon Shibu Thomas, Research Specialist and Lead Urology
Advanced Practitioner, said: "We are always looking at what extra
we can do to help patients in their radiotherapy journey. The aim
of radiotherapy is to target the cancer with high energy x-ray,
therefore the biggest challenge is to keep damage to nearby organs
to the minimum.
"It is sometimes difficult to illustrate the importance of
patients following instructions every day for their radiotherapy
treatment. The 3D software has really helped us make that message
clearer; it was originally used by trainee undergraduate students
to understand radiotherapy techniques."
The 3D presentation brings the linear accelerator, the machine
used for treatment, into the room, which allows patients to
experience the lasers, exact movements and noises up close and from
any angle. Patients therefore become accustomed to exactly what
they will experience when they are receiving treatment.
3D has been in use for last two months and is already proving to
be a hit.
Alex Cain, Pre-Treatment Lead and Urology Advanced Practitioner,
explained what a difference it was making to new patients. He said:
"This presentation helps patients feel more confident about their
treatment, gives them a clearer picture of the whole treatment
pathway and reduces their anxiety".
"Prior to this we just had a booklet with photos but this is far
more detailed and really helps prepare patients mentally for what
they'll experience whilst receiving their treatment. It's having a
huge positive impact on the development of the prostate cancer
Image (l-r): Taiwo Chima, Senior
Radiographer; Alex Cain, Pre-Treatment Lead and Urology Advanced
Practitioner and Sharon Shibu Thomas, Research Specialist and Lead
Urology Advanced Practitioner