Carol’s Story: Beating Kidney Cancer That Spread

by | Mar 22, 2021 | CyberKnife for Kidney Cancer, CyberKnife to Treat Cancer

Quality of life & more precious time are among the many reasons Carol chose CyberKnife Radiation Therapy to treat her kidney cancer that had spread.

For Carol life revolves around family, including her three children and 11 grandchildren. However, for many years, a cloud also has hung over this family due to Carol’s health issues. The worst was in 1993, when Carol was first diagnosed with advanced renal cell carcinoma, the most prevalent form of kidney cancer.

Frightened, Carol underwent surgery to remove her kidney, and despite being shaken, she felt confident the cancer was gone.
Unfortunately, a decade later in 2003, doctors found a separate tumor on her remaining kidney and again she had to undergo surgery.

Later that same year, Carol was given more bad news: her kidney cancer had metastasized to her bones. It wasn’t long before the tumors on Carol’s tailbone and spine were causing her unbearable pain.
The pain got so bad that Carol had trouble even sitting down, and she found it increasingly difficult to keep up with her grandchildren.
After speaking with her doctor and researching multiple treatment options with her family, Carol decided to undergo treatment with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System to help improve her quality of life and allow her more time to spend with her family.

CyberKnife radiosurgery is a non-invasive treatment option and is used often for patients, such as Carol, who have limited treatment options.

Carol was first treated with the CyberKnife System in 2009 and describes the procedure as painless.
Unlike her kidney surgeries—which left Carol with long, debilitating recovery times during which she was forced to miss important family activities—her CyberKnife treatments came with virtually no recovery time and completely alleviated her pain.
In fact, Carol was able to return to her normal activities immediately, including spending time with her family at the beach, something she loves to do.

Additionally, one of Carol’s fears when she learned she needed to undergo more cancer treatment was that she would lose her hair.
Since CyberKnife treatment does not cause this side effect, Carol found that to be an additional bonus, making getting through treatment that much easier.

Since 2009 Carol and her physicians have been using treatment with the CyberKnife System to help manage her disease.
On Valentine’s Day 2012, while undergoing treatment for a new set of tumors on her tailbone and spine, Carol had a date planned with her son and was elated that she could head directly to dinner following her CyberKnife treatment session.

Carol and her family are passionate about sharing their experience with the CyberKnife System because the unique technology has helped their family better cope with the stresses of cancer treatment.

Carol wants other patients to know that CyberKnife treatment is completely non-invasive and involves no pain or cutting. She describes the treatment experience, “It’s like a human robot that moves around your body from multiple angles while you lie there. It’s remarkable and fascinating. I’m thankful to have been presented with the CyberKnife treatment option and that instead of hindering my quality of life, my life is now more enjoyable because of it.”

As of the creation of this patient profile, Carol found her CyberKnife treatment to be successful.

Who Is a Candidate for CyberKnife? 
Many people who have been told that they are not a candidate for surgery maybe be a candidate for CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiotherapy treatment.
We can also treat post-operative patients and metastatic disease.

What To Expect from CyberKnife Kidney Cancer Treatment? 
Most patients can be treated in 1-5 treatments over a period of a few days. The treatment itself is comfortable, and patients can expect little to no side effects after undergoing CyberKnife.

What Types of Kidney Tumors Can CyberKnife Treat? 
Clear Cell Carcinoma (70% of kidney cancers), Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma (10% of kidney cancers), Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma (5% of kidney cancers), and several severe rare types including Duct Renal Cell (very aggressive), Multilocular Cystic Renal Cell (good prognosis), Medullary Carcinoma, Renal Mucinous Tubular and Spindle Cell Carcinoma (less than 1% of kidney cancers).
There are also unclassified Renal Cell Carcinomas that do not fit any category because they have more than one type and are 3-5% of all kidney cancers and are very aggressive, these require prompt treatment.

Unfortunately, renal cell carcinoma is highly resistant to traditional radiation therapy so normal treatment options are not effective at eradicating the cancer. Rather, they simply slow it down.

Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director at CyberKnife Miami says CyberKnife provides patients with the best of all worlds.


CyberKnife Radiosurgery is truly the ideal non-surgical option for people with renal cell carcinoma, because it is a treatment that can completely ablate the lesion utilizing its missile-guidance technology and precision.

It delivers pinpoint radiation directly to the tumor with extreme accuracy and with minimal exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Because it can deliver higher doses of radiation per treatment, patients need fewer treatments and the control rate is high. It kills the tumor cells and over time the tumor dies.

The Radiation Oncologist will determine the size of the area being targeted by radiation and the dosage, as well as identifying critical structures and vital organs where radiation must be minimized.
They will work closely with the medical physicist to devise a customized treatment plan for your case.

The doctor may choose to deliver the treatment in one or up to five treatments.

The CyberKnife is completely pain free. Patients dress comfortably in their own clothes and can bring music to listen to during the treatment.
Nothing will be required of the patient during the treatment, except to relax. In fact, patients often sleep through the treatment.

There are generally only minimal side effects, if any, from CyberKnife treatments.
After completing the CyberKnife treatment, patients will schedule follow-up appointments.

Keep in mind that the tumor will not suddenly disappear. In fact, it could take several weeks or longer for the tumor to shrink or become in active.

Response to treatment varies from patient to patient. Clinical experience has shown us that most patients respond very well to CyberKnife treatments.

If you have kidney cancer, it’s critical to understand your treatment options.
To find out if you are a candidate for life-saving CyberKnife Radiation Therapy call the CyberKnife Center of Miami at (800) 204-0455 and go to our website now to learn more about our technology, who we are and how we put patients 1st!