Fayetteville, Ga. (March 21, 2013) – Piedmont Fayette Hospital is adding a second linear accelerator (LINAC), a machine that generates energy for external beam radiation treatments for cancer patients, after receiving a certificate of need from the state.
Currently, Piedmont Fayette averages 46 radiation treatments per day with each treatment taking approximately 15 minutes. Since July 2010, when radiation therapy services became available at the hospital, the existing LINAC has operated between 129.4% utilization in year one and 159.4% utilization in year two.
“This additional LINAC machine is huge for our cancer patients at Piedmont Fayette,” said Michael Burnett, chief administrative officer at Piedmont Fayette. “Not only will we have better scheduling and the capacity to accommodate unscheduled patients, but we’ve designed the treatment rooms so our patients can enjoy natural light and be comforted by their surroundings.”
Approximately two-thirds of patients diagnosed with cancer are candidates for the radiation therapy the LINAC provides. With cancer incidence rates in Fayette County being above the overall state rates, the addition of a second LINAC at Piedmont Fayette will help more patients receive the treatment they need in a timely manner.
In addition to curing cancer, radiation therapy can shrink tumors that press against bones, nerves or organs. It may also be used before surgery to reduce a tumor or after surgery to stop the growth of remaining cancer cells. Over the years, significant advancements have been made in radiation therapy, making it a safer and more effective treatment option.
“The new LINAC system we’re getting at Piedmont Fayette is designed for high-precision image-guided radiation therapy,” said Geetha Rao, M.D., co-medical director, radiation oncology at Piedmont Fayette. “It is faster and more precise so patients may see it takes less time to get their treatment.”
Radiation therapy services are located on the first floor of the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Cancer Center. For more information about radiation therapy or other cancer services, visit piedmontfayette.org.