The machines are called LINACs - Linear Accelerators.
They accelerate a beam of electrons to high speed, and have them hit a tungsten target, which generates X-rays. The X-Ray beam is shaped in the head to aim at the target in your body. If you watch the head as it passes over you, you will see the multi-leaf collimator (MLC) moving as it shapes the beam (keep still - don't move your head to look at it). I asked what the beam energy was set to, and it was 6MeV (million electron volts) for prostate cancer. I think they said those LINACs can go up to 18MeV, but the bunkers were only rated up to 12MeV.
This is a good YouTube video explaining how the LINAC works:
At Mount Vernon, they have 12 bunkers, and 9 LINACs were operating in them when I was being treated there 18 months ago. I'm told there are fewer now, due to fewer patients coming forward to be diagnosed since COVID. Theirs were named after the bunker number and year the LINAC was installed, e.g. LA12_2017, LA10_2018 (the two I was treated on most often). They were all Varion models (at least, the the ones used for prostate cancer), doing IG-VMAT treatment.
Edited by member 09 Feb 2021 at 23:09
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