Cancer treatment at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar will be reinforced with the installation of High Energy Linear Accelerator (HELA) machines. The machines which were inaugurated by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, will help oncologists identify cancer cells with pinpoint accuracy and expose the affected area to radiation. The treatment cost will be highly affordable for cancer patients.
As per reports, the HELA machine purchased for Rs 20 crore will be operated by state-of-the-art technology. The machine will help perform radiotherapy with pinpoint accuracy. Only body parts affected by cancer will be exposed to radiation while healthy cells nearby will not be affected.
Moreover, the machine is equipped with its own imaging system which can accurately track malignant tumours in difficult terrains like the brain, lungs, and liver.
According to cancer experts, the old system of radiation, the cancer-affected parts of patients were repeatedly exposed to radiation to destroy the cancer cells. Frequent radiation even damaged nearby healthy cells. However, HELA radiation will only destroy cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells.
Dr Saroj Dasmajumdar, Head of Radiation Oncology at AIIMS Bhubaneswar said, “High energy radiation emanates from the HELA machine. We can control the radiation and provide treatment with precision. Only tumours will be exposed to radiation while normal tissues will be spared. Toxicity will be mitigated.”
Dr Sandip Barik, Radiation Oncologist at AIIMS Bhubaneswar said, “In normal radiation cases, patients have to come for radiations for six to seven weeks. The radiation from HELA will be a single dose.”
Dr Deepak Kumar Das, Radiation Oncologist, at AIIMS said, "In some cases, surgery is not possible. With HELA, we can do precision radiotherapy in that case. This machine has imaging provision to detect tumours.”
According to oncologists, about 70 percent of cancer patients require radiation therapy which costs about Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh in private hospitals. Cancer patients are availing the same treatment at Rs 750 at AIIMS where two HELA machines have been installed.
About 100 cancer patients are availing of radiation therapy every day.
AIIMS Bhubaneswar superintendent Dr Dilip Parida said that if cancer is detected early, a major portion of the body can be saved from radiation therapy. “We are emphasizing on preventive oncology. We are developing infrastructure at AIIMS,” he added.