If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you often have a variety of treatment options to consider to fight the disease. Two of the most common types of treatments used to fight cancer are chemotherapy and radiation. Let’s take a look at what each of these treatments are and when they are used.
Although the definition of chemotherapy is treating any disease with chemical drugs, the term is commonly associated with the treatment of cancer with cytotoxic drugs. Chemotherapy is a pivotal treatment method in treating cancer and is often combined with other treatments for a more effective way to battle the disease. Chemotherapy is given either orally or through an IV and prevents the body’s cells from dividing into more cells. This prevents cancer cells in the body from dividing and spreading. Chemotherapy aims to target cancer cells located in every place of the body instead of one particular place where a tumor may exist. While chemotherapy has side effects like temporary hair loss, fatigue and an increased susceptibility to infections, its effectiveness in killing cancer cells make it an ideal treatment for millions of cancer patients.
Radiation (also called radiotherapy) is another effective treatment method used to fight cancer. It involves exposing the body part where the cancerous tumor is located with high amounts of radiation to shrink and eventually kill the tumor’s cells. Unlike chemotherapy, radiation is a localized treatment performed entirely externally using a radiation machine. Radiation targets cancer cells in a specific location instead of the entire body. While radiation is highly effective, it comes with a host of side effects, as well. They can include skin problems at the site of treatment, fatigue, tooth decay, soreness, stiffness and more. Radiation is a great treatment method for cancerous tumors located in a specific spot in the body.
Advancements in medical technology have allowed tremendous improvements to be made in radiotherapy. A prime example is the CyberKnife system. CyberKnife is a painless, non-invasive form of robotic, image-guided radiotherapy that delivers high doses of radiation precisely targeted to the tumor or lesion. The CyberKnife destroys the tumor without affecting surrounding healthy tissue and organs. As a result, doctors are able to minimize side effects by avoid damaging healthy tissue during the treatment. Traditional radiation treatments do not have the technological ability to deliver treatment precisely to the tumor like CyberKnife. CyberKnife treatment plans typically require 1 to 5 sessions. Treatment sessions only take 30-to-60 minutes and you can resume normal activities immediately after.
Another benefit of CyberKnife is that it’s a versatile treatment that can be applied to virtually almost anywhere in the body. This means a person is most often not disqualified if his or her tumor is located in a certain part of the body. Another benefit is that it can be combined with other cancer treatments like surgery and chemotherapy without any issue. It offers precision, reduced side effects, versatility and the ability to combine it with other treatments for the most effective treatment plan possible.
If radiation is recommended as part of your cancer treatment plan, the CyberKnife system offers you a more precise, effective and comfortable path to radiation therapy than the traditional methods. To learn more about CyberKnife radiotherapy and how it can enhance your cancer treatment to not only be more effective but also comfortable, call the CyberKnife Center of Miami. Our experts are among the most experienced performing radiotherapy using the CyberKnife system and would be happy to discuss a treatment plan catered to your specific needs. Call (800) 204-0455 or (305) 279-2900 to arrange a consultation or request an appointment online. And visit our website now www.cyberknifemiami.com