Present figures suggest that something like 1 in 4 people will die from some form of cancer, but with State-of-the-Art systems used to provide regular screening, early detection and treatment, this figure can be reduced by over 90%.
Proven State-of-the-Art systems are Ultrasound and MRI scanners coupled with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound and 3D colour imaging.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound is being used to treat prostate and breast cancer, and other cancers, such as womb, kidney, liver and brain without surgery.
A way of explaining how this works is like using a magnifying glass on a sunny day and focusing beams of sunlight onto a piece of wood. The beams burn a hole in the wood at their focal point. However, the surrounding wood is not affected. This is how High Intensity Focused Ultrasound works; heated beams of ultrasound are focused onto unwanted tissue, and burn it away without harming the surrounding areas. (The medical term for removing tissue is Ablation/Ablating).
|Diagram of How High Intensity
|Video of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablating a Breast Cancer
A transducer is a piece of equipment that converts
electrical energy into Ultrasound energy
Click on above image for animation
The clinically reported benefits of using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound are:-
- There is no surgery (important for women in cases of breast cancer as there is no disfiguring scar tissue).
- There have been no occurrences of Metastases.
- There is no need for follow up treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
- There is no radiation exposure therefore there is no risk of cancer developing from this.
- In most cases no anaesthetic is needed as the treatment is not painful enough to require it.
In addition to treating Cancer, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound is also being used to treat non cancerous (benign) growths, especially those affecting women, e.g. growths affecting the womb, ovaries, etc. (Please see Womens Section for further information).
There are some types of cancerous growths which cannot be treated with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, e.g. bowel, stomach, skin, spine and lung cancer (or cancer of the area the lungs are in). However, there are alternative treatments for most of these cancers and others. Like High Intensity Focused Ultrasound there is no surgery with these treatments and in most cases, no general anaesthetic is needed as the treatment is not painful enough to require it. (Click on the following links for explanations of these systems).
(Note: Treatments which do not involve surgery are called non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures – surgery is called an invasive procedure).
- Cryosurgery (also known as Cryotherapy and Cryoablation)
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
(In some countries, some of the systems described are used on a ‘clinical trial’ basis (which means that outcomes are reported to compare their effectiveness to other treatments). At a few centres, surgery follows treatment and tissue surrounding the treated cancer is removed to analyse if the cancer has been completely removed. However, at most centres MRI or Ultrasound scans are used to see if the cancer has been completely removed.
In the minority of circumstances when none of the above systems can be used or when a cancer has grown very large and surgery may be required, 3D colour images can be shown on screen in theatre for the surgical treatment of cancers and other conditions.
This advanced imaging enables precise treatment as a patient’s body and problems with it are shown comprehensively and accurately, as in the following images of a Brain Cancer.
Colours: Cancer - green, Brain - white/grey, Blood Vessels - red, Ventricles - blue (produce and control fluid levels in the brain/spine)
This imaging has many benefits, for example, as the location and extent of a cancer can be seen this enables complete removal (without complete removal remaining cells can re-establish and also spread throughout the body and cause cancer in other places – malignant cancer), it is used for the early detection of cancers.
As many types of cancer have no obvious symptoms until they are advanced, our aim is to have sufficient facilities to scan for cancer annually and treat it immediately when it is found.
Please help to make the most forward imaging and treatment systems in the world available in the UK (Please Click Donate or Fundraise to help).