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, Naomi Haas, M.D., at the University of Pennsylvania, 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 actual treatment experience by saying,
“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.
Here are some of the most FAQ’s about CyberKnife Treatment
In many clinical situations, CyberKnife has local control and effectiveness that is equivalent to surgery. However, due to its non-invasive nature, the risk of side effects is significantly lower with CyberKnife. Real-time tumor tracking results in less radiation to the nearby normal tissues.
A growing body of evidence from clinical studies using CyberKnife hypofractionated radiation treatments (high dose in five treatments) shows that CyberKnife provides more effective treatment compared to the proton beam’s conventional lower dose fractionation treatment.
As a primary treatment Cyberknife can achieve a local control of nearly 90% in patients with a median follow up of 18 months. Radicular pain has been relieved in 25–85% of patients and neurological deficits improved to a lesser degree.
Typically, there are no side effects after a CyberKnife treatment and patients return to normal activities immediately. However, some patients may experience rare side effects including nausea and dizziness, which usually can be prevented with medications taken before or after treatment.
Treatments are performed on an outpatient basis, with each treatment lasting between 30 to 90 minutes. The number of treatments vary depending on the tumor size, location and shape, but typically only one to five daily sessions are required.
This ability to precisely target the delivery of radiation provides a number of important benefits: More radiation to the target: CyberKnife enables higher-dose radiation to the target region for faster, more effective treatment than with standard radiation therapy.
Who is a Candidate for Treatment? Cyberknife is typically used for patients with: Early to intermediate-stage disease. Localized disease and Metastatic disease.
How long does it take to recover from CyberKnife?
With CyberKnife treatment, the majority of patients can continue normal activity during and immediately following treatment — compared to the typical requirement to limit normal activity for three to five weeks after traditional cancer surgery.
What is the difference between radiation and CyberKnife?
Cyberknife Is More Accurate Than Traditional Radiation Therapy. Because it’s able to target diseased tissue, Cyberknife SBRT is much more accurate than traditional radiation therapy. SBRT can deliver radiation to a margin of one to five millimeters surrounding a tumor.
Does CyberKnife cause fatigue?
There are minimal side effects from CyberKnife treatment. The most common side effect is fatigue.
How long does fatigue last after CyberKnife?
You may find you feel mildly fatigued for a couple of days. However, most patients are back to work and normal activity levels the same day or within a day or two.
What happens to the tumor after CyberKnife?
What is the success rate of radiation therapy?
“When patients are treated with modern external-beam radiation therapy, the overall cure rate was 93.3% with a metastasis-free survival rate at 5 years of 96.9%.