Long-Term Results from CyberKnife Cancer Treatments

Long-Term Results from CyberKnife Cancer Treatments

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer and other types of tumors, cancerous and non-cancerous is rapidly becoming renowned around the world.

CyberKnife is precise and targeted radiation therapy that dissipates tumors with pinpoint accuracy, resulting in far less trauma to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor. There’s no cutting or surgery involved, so no anesthesia or painkillers are required.

Because CyberKnife’s Radiation beams are so precise, hitting only the tumor, that in turn reduces the risk of side effects, maintaining quality of life. Also because CyberKnife requires so many fewer treatments, a patient’s life style is not interrupted nearly as much.

CyberKnife is an advanced technique for effectively treating and destroying tumors in days, not months like older or traditional types of radiation therapy, which often require many more treatment sessions. 

CyberKnife usually requires 1-to-5 treatments instead of 15-to-45 typically prescribed for traditional radiation. 

CyberKnife Limits Side Effects, Complications

CyberKnife success stories include people with metastatic cancer including prostate cancer patients who were able to live decades longer because they chose CyberKnife treatment.

Longitudinal studies reveal that CyberKnife is so effective that many cancer patients go on to live long, normal lives without ever facing another cancer scare.

Current studies show that short-term CyberKnife treatments may help people with incurable, advanced, high-risk cancers  be able to manage their disease, kind of like you manage diabetes. If a tumor is treated and comes back, often it can be treated again. If another tumor evolves, that can usually be treated too, and on and on if other tumors pop up.

Problems Associated with Traditional Radiation Therapy

Tradiational Radiation therapy is not as precise as CyberKnife. It treats a larger area and sometimes it’s necessary to use and may be a patient’s only option. But since it is not as targeted as CyberKnife, it hits nearby healthy tissues and cells which can result in a number of side effects and health complications, including secondary cancers. 

The long-term effects of radiation therapy may manifest in a number of ways such as:

  • Blood-related cancers like leukemia, as well as bone marrow issues that can lead to acute leukemia
  • Also radiation fibrosis syndrome, a loss of elasticity in cells.

These complications are due to radiation exposure during treatments and usually appear within six months after radiation therapy is completed. 

Additional side effects and complications associated with radiation therapy depend on where in the body the radiation treatment was occurring. For example:

  • Hypothyroidism or the inability to produce enough thyroid hormone, which can significantly slow a person’s metabolism. 
  • Heart disease is another common side effect from radiation treatments. Patients who undergo radiation for Hodgkin's disease die far more regularly from heart disease than cancer. These patients often wind up with coronary issues like coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, pericardial effusions, and constrictive pericarditis and even cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle itself, which can be worse when chemotherapy drugs are also introduced as a part of a patient’s treatment plan.
  • Musculoskeletal concerns can arise years – even decades – after traditional radiation therapy. The effects of radiation often cause osteoporosis and even osteonecrosis. It can affect the muscles and connective tissue, restricting mobility and causing pain, numbness, and weakness. 
  • Radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis, or the permanent scarring of the lungs.

With CyberKnife the risk of such complications are much less.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and radiation therapy is suggested, be sure you speak to the experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami. You may reach them by calling (305) 279-2900 or request a consultation now on-line and see for yourself why the benefits of CyberKnife far outweigh those of traditional radiation treatments.