Radiotherapy Treatment Rooms Including Brachytherapy FacilitiesTop
Procedures for cancer treatment use x-ray generators or high activity radioactive sources. These produce varying levels of energy up to 25 MeV with x-rays or average energies of up to 1.25 MeV for brachytherapy sources.
All facilities require substantial shielding using lead chevron bricks, steel plates and or concrete.
Linear accelerators, e.g. CyberKnife® and Gamma Knife, produce Mega electron Volt photons. This requires greater levels of protection, plus possibly shielding of photo-neutrons when the energy of the photons are in excess of 10MeV.
In most instances and if space permits, a "maze" will be introduced to limit the amount of radiation at the door entrance, reducing the lead shielding requirements within the door.
For high energy linear accelerators in excess of 10MeV, neutrons are emitted and specialist shielding is required. Premadex® was developed over 25 years ago and is the ideal product to attenuate the neutrons produced.
Positron Emission Tomography
This is another type of diagnostic nuclear medicine examination using positron emitting tracer isotopes. Although positron emitters usually have a short half-life the energy of the annihilation radiation emitted is significantly higher and therefore more penetrating.
The procedure is often used in conjunction with a CT or MRI scanner to link functional and anatomic information.
Nuclear Medicine Therapy Rooms
(e.g. Iodine – 131 Suites)
These procedures for cancer treatment use radiopharmaceuticals which are administered either orally or by a catheter near to or within the tumour.
Radiation levels and the overall level of shielding can be significant and require the use of lead chevron bricks. These are used when shielding in excess of 10mm is required for walls and possibly also for floors and ceilings. Heavy duty doors with the option of power operation will also need to be considered.
Shielding will need to extend to patient preparation rooms, recovery areas and toilet facilities.
Next: Magnetic Resonance Imaging