A machine called CyberKnife is the latest device to be
used to treat complicated cancers and offer hope to cancer patients. The
machine was used for the first time on a Briton who had pancreatic cancer.
It is reported that Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze, who is also afflicted with pancreatic cancer, has used this machine. CyberKnife
shoots hundreds of beams of radiation to inaccessible areas of the body. The machine also moves with each breath taken by the patient. Hence it can also be used to treat tumors that have been deemed inoperable due to their close relation to major organs of the body.
The machine is currently available at one private Harley
Street Clinic, but is expected to be installed in NHS hospitals across England.
The private Harley Street Clinic has also treated their
first NHS patient. The machine cannot be used for stomach, oesophageal, bowel or bladder cancers since it may damage the muscle wall lining these organs.