Campaign to replace technology for future of cancer patient care in Saskatchewan

There are only two computed tomography (CT) simulators in the province and they need replacing, according to the Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan.

The technology provides a cancer patient’s medical team with the images to determine the most effective, efficient and exact radiation treatment plan possible.

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This ensures healthy tissue is not harmed while the radiation beams target tumours, officials said.

In 2018, 5,600 people in Saskatchewan were diagnosed with cancer, according to the foundation’s website, and nearly half will undergo radiation therapy.

The foundation launched a $3-million fundraising campaign on Wednesday to replace CT simulators, which are at the end of their life cycle, with two 4D CT simulators.

“Ensuring timely access to safe, high-quality patient and family centred care is our priority,” Saskatchewan Cancer Agency CEO Dr. Jon Tonita said in a statement.

“The funds raised will help us to ensure that cancer patients in this province continue to have access to state-of-the-art equipment during their treatment.”

New CTs are able to work in 4D rather than the current machines’ 3D capacity, now adding in the dimension of time, which accounts for breathing and organ function. The medical team can more accurately target radiation treatments, officials said.

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The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency’s two simulators are at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina, while the other is located at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre. Over 2,600 CT simulations were performed in 2018.

The foundation is the fundraising partner of the agency.

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