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News Room: Press Releases

Virtua provides the latest in cancer care

As technology advances, our ability to treat cancer patients gets better. Today's technology is more precise and effective than ever before. Here are two of the latest treatments, available right here at Virtua.

High-Dose Radiation Therapy
For women with breast cancer, Virtua provides the latest in high-dose radiation therapy. A surgeon inserts a catheter into the lumpectomy site, the cavity left over from the removal of the cancerous tumor.

Once the applicator is in place, the patient undergoes treatment planning. A CT scan reveals the exact location of the applicator and other important structures, like organs.

Based on the planning, high dose radiation is released into the catheter and into the lumpectomy site, the exact tissue that required radiation treatment.

Using this method:
  • Eligible patients can receive treatment twice a day for one week instead of once a day for six to eight weeks
  • Healthy tissue is preserved
  • Side effects are milder
  • Women are not radioactive after treatment is over
  • Some women do not have to be hospitalized

Because of its benefits to patients, this method is used whenever possible. Eligibility is based on the stage of the breast cancer and the woman's age.

Prostate Brachytherapy
For men with prostate cancer, there's an alternative to having the prostate removed. Those who are eligible can have prostate brachytherapy where tiny radioactive seeds are surgically implanted into the prostate.

The seeds release radiation over a period of time killing the cancer cells. While the seeds remain in the prostate, eventually the radiation stops.

Unlike high-dose radiation for breast cancer, men who opt in for brachytherapy are radioactive. To protect their family members, men are restricted from picking up children, holding children on their lap, and being close to a family member for a long period of time. For example, men are advised to sleep apart from his spouse for a few weeks.

Besides few minor restrictions in the months following brachytherapy, there are many benefits to this type of treatment. Men who are treated with brachytherapy:

  • Undergo a shorter procedure
  • Are less likely to experience side effects such as impotency, incontinence, or other bladder and urination issues
  • Go home from the hospital faster
  • Recover and return to normal activities quicker

Learn more about Virtua's cancer program.

As one of New Jersey’s largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers more than 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit  www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.