New radiation machine enhances treatment for patients in Sask.

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WATCH ABOVE: Cancer patients receiving radiation therapy now have access to the most advanced equipment available. As Christa Dao explains, the new multimillion dollar investment in healthcare can make a big difference – Mar 17, 2017

The Saskatchewan government said cancer patients will soon be able to get state-of-the-art radiation therapy in Regina and Saskatoon.

The province said more than five million dollars has been spent to install a TrueBeam linear accelerator (linac) at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency’s Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina.

TrueBeam can deliver higher doses of radiation more quickly and with greater precision. It’s accurate within two millimetres.

The multimillion dollar investment will give new treatment options for trickier cancer procedures, like cancers in the lung, breast, prostate and spinal region.

“One of the advantages of these machines is how they work with imaging is to make sure as much as possible, you’re not affecting normal cells but you’re really hitting the cancer cells,” Saskatchewan Cancer Agency Interim President CEO Jon Tonita said.

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Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit said the TrueBeam linac is the most advanced in the world. He said it will improve access and provide advanced care.

“That’ll just open up the options. Shorten the treatments down, shorten the treatment times down to open up more slots for patients that should be needing it,” Ottenbreit said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Party MLA Greg Ottenbreit battling cancer

It said another 3.8 million dollars has been approved for a similar replacement machine in Saskatoon.

Linac has been in operation for approximately a month and has treated about 30 patients so far.

Last year, about 840 patients were treated at Allan Blair Cancer Centre.

With files from The Canadian Press

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