If you or someone you know has ever had prostate cancer, then you know the amount of radiation and other therapies that come with the diagnosis.
Generally when you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer you tumour is positioned and then treatment begins.
But, as the ABC reports, the tumour can move more than a centimetre if you cough or when you digest food.
That means, during radiation therapy the radiation beam could hit healthy tissue inside your body causing you to have a range of problems include bowel issues or incontinence.
Thankfully, doctors have come up with a new piece of technology that allows them to GPS track the position of your prostate cancer tumour.
The ABC reports the Calypso computer program has made its debut in Queensland at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
So, what does the technology do?
Well, by GPS tracking your tumour, doctors can treat it with radiation when it was in range – stopping any potential damage to healthy tissue in your body.
Radiation oncologist Tanya Holt told the ABC it could detect even a millimetre of movement by the tumour.
“If it does, it will switch the beam off and wait until the prostate moves back into the right position, or realign the beam and begin again,” she said.
“The more accurate, the higher the dose you can deliver to the right area and with a more accurate treatment the more patients will be cured.”
How does it work?
Well, doctors implant three small transponders – smaller than a grain of rice – into your prostate.
The system locks onto the transponders and follows them during the treatment.
And the Calypso program also does X-rays and CT scans, which doctors say reduces the treatment time for prostate cancer.
There’s even more good news, with treatments using the Calypso program bulk-billed.
Only one other similar program is being used in Australia, and that is in Melbourne.