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Less-invasive Therapies

Today, the global trend in healthcare is toward less-invasive therapies that not only cure serious illnesses, but also minimize the impact on the patient's body, and make it possible to continue treatment with more effective therapies afterward. This trend has rapidly spread across a broad spectrum of fields in Japan as well, and much energy is being devoted to research and development of s tate-of - the-ar t technologies and equipment.

The use of endoscopes to treat patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders minimizes damage to the body, reduces postoperative pain, and speeds recovery. Another example is intravascular therapy employing catheters, which has led to improved results and dramatic lessening of impact on patients undergoing brain, heart, and peripheral artery procedures. Advanced robotic surgery has made it easier to perform less-invasive therapies with precision. It can also be said that the typical diligence of the Japanese national character is ideally suited to achieving positive results in therapies such as these, which require procedures of the utmost precision.

In the field of radiation therapy for cancer, new therapies such as particle beam therapy and advanced radiation therapy have fewer side effects and are more effective than conventional therapies. Japan is at the forefront of both development and implementation of these new therapies.

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What is an endoscope?

What is an endoscope?

An endoscope is a medical device consisting of a thin, exible tube with a lens at one end. Inserting an endoscope via the mouth or anus, or through a small opening in the abdomen, allows the organs to be directly observed from within. Surgical procedures or operations can also be performed during endoscopic observation. Endoscopic procedures have made it possible to perform surgery without the need to open the abdominal cavity, and thus greatly reduce the physical burden on the patient during and after the procedure. Japanese endoscope development technology is in the world's top class, and new advanced types of endoscopes, such as ultrathin and capsule endoscopes , have been put into practical use.

What is a particle beam?

What is a particle beam?

Like X-rays and gamma rays (photon beams), a particle beam is one of the forms of radiation widely used for cancer treatment. A particle beam using the nuclei of hydrogen or carbon atoms does not release energy during its passage through the patient, and its strong e ect is concentrated on the target. With this advantage, a particle beam is able to precisely target cancer tissues located deep in the body while limiting the e ect on normal tissues. There are many facilities equipped with particle beams in Japan, and they have a wealth of experience in this eld.

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