We all want to give our beloved pets and service animals a chance at a quality life, so when this is threatened by the presence of cancerous cells, we look to the professionals for help. When a pet or service animal is diagnosed with cancer, the goal of any veterenarian is to eliminate the cancer with curative therapy or provide palliative tratment for a better quality of life.
Palliative treatment uses radiation therapy to reduce the size of cancerous tumors in order to reduce the pain and pressure felt by the animals. In many cases, radiation therapy can cure the animal of cancer. Because cancer cells are so aggressive with replicating themselves (cell dividing) and spreading rapidly, radiation therapy stops cancer cells from dividing and spreading any further.
Using a Linear Accelerator to Treat Animals with Radiation Therapy
To treat an animal with radiation therapy, a linear accelerator, also known as a LINAC machine, is used. Usually a CT or MRI machine is used to determine the radiation treatment plan; this will determine the direction of the LINAC beam to reduce any impact on surrounding good tissue or cells and provide dosage information.
The LINAC machine shoots a radiation beam at the cancerous cells for an average of five to 15 minutes to kill the cancer cells and shrink the tumor. These treatments can be done, on average, one to three times per week to the animal and can continue over several weeks, depending on the size and location of the tumor.
Radiation therapy continues to be a very expensive treatment, but in some cases, it’s the only way to cure the animal’s cancer or greatly reduce the tumor to give a better quality of life. Many veterinarians cannot afford to offer this expensive therapy due to the cost of the machine and the specialty radiation shielded rooms required to safely use them.
Our Cost-Effective Solution
There are many cost-effective options now on the market, including refurbished or used machines, that veterinarians can obtain, but the cost of specialty shielded rooms continues to grow every year. This is one of the reasons why the team at Matter Fabs was committed to finding a cheaper alternative for shielded rooms that the veterinary community could afford more easily.
Matter Fabs created the MatterVault™ to be a cost-effective solutions for veterinarians. Up until now, the options for shielded inspection rooms were either concrete or lead that came at a very high cost and put it out of reach for veterinarians. The MatterVault™ uses a unique, cost-effective design where the vault walls are modular and can be constructed very quickly and easily to any size required. The MatterVault™ has the ability to use sand or other cheaper shielding materials in the walls to greatly reduce the costs. The MatterVault™ design eliminates the need for using or making forms, and much of the reinforced steel rods, when combined with concrete, are used as the shielding material.