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Simultaneous MRI and radiation therapy offered by new device

When the tests have been completed and the results analyzed, the next step after a cancer diagnosis is to determine a treatment plan. Radiation is often a big part of this treatment, and as the patient moves forward with the plan, continual testing will help determine the status of the illness, success of treatment and areas where adjustments might be needed.

What if doctors could combine these two steps? What if doctors could get a real-time view of the cancerous tumor while administering radiation therapy? Would it make the treatment more effective? An answer to those questions was presented this week at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Doctors were able to observe clear imaging of two patients’ tumors while simultaneously administering the radiation therapy.

Doctors were able to do this with the assistance of a new device called the ViewRay machine. The machine was the brain-child of a doctoral graduate at Washington University, named Jim Dempsey. The machine was tested in a clinical trial that started in 2011, and this month’s implementation of the device at the Missouri hospital was the machine’s official debut.

Lung cancer is one of the illnesses included in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. Not only is the illness very serious and possibly disabling, but the treatment can be incredibly difficult for the patient as well -- even if doctors can see the problem in real time.

How do I know if I qualify for Social Security disability benefits? It’s an answer that an SSD attorney can provide for an individual that has been diagnosed with cancer. The truth is that this is only a small part of the process. An individual must apply and have this application approved.

An application for benefits could be denied for an individual that should qualify based on something as simple as missing medical documentation. Avoiding a denial based on an issue such as this is a primary reason for choosing to have an attorney that will work with the SSA on your behalf.

Source: CBS St. Louis, “New Machine at Barnes-Jewish Helps with Cancer Treatment,” Feb. 8, 2014Social Security Administration, “13.00 Malignant Neoplastic Diseases – Adult,” accessed Feb. 11, 2014

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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