Getting a diagnosis of cancer is scary, and finding out that your treatment options are limited is not something that any patient wants to face. Luckily, researchers and medical technology professionals have learned a lot about cancer, and how best to treat it. You may have heard about traditional radiation therapy, and about CyberKnife. Although they sound very different, they have certain aspects in common.
Traditional Radiation Therapy for Cancer
For many cancers, doctors use radiation to shrink or kill tumors. Radiation therapy has an advantage over surgery in that you do not face any incisions, anesthesia, or downtime after the procedure has been completed. Often, radiation is used in conjunction with chemotherapy, and sometimes with surgery, too.
Radiation treatments were developed many decades ago. The first delivery devices
were effective at killing tumor cells, but unfortunately, there was no way to protect delicate tissues and organs surrounding the tumor. In some cases, radiation therapy was not possible because of the grave risk of significant damage to surrounding sensitive areas.
What Exactly is CyberKnife
CyberKnife is the brand name of a more advanced radiation treatment. Also called stereotactic radiotherapy, this noninvasive therapy delivers a lethal dose of radiation to diseased and cancerous tissues, like traditional radiation therapy. However, CyberKnife is a more powerful, precise, and sophisticated device.
The CyberKnife machine employs a so-called linear accelerator to concentrate the energy of the radiation. This makes the dose of radiation much more powerful so that fewer treatments can achieve the same goal as more frequent treatments with the older technology. These powerful doses of radiation are focused into extremely precise beams, which can target only the treatment site, leaving healthy surrounding tissue untouched.
CyberKnife uses advanced imaging and 3D computerized guidance systems that can track movement, even as a patient breathes. This feature is called the SynchronyÔ Respiratory Tracking System and the result is a surgical-like precision, hence the name, CyberKnife.
Because of the power and accuracy of this latest generation of radiation therapy devices, doctors have been able to effectively treat tumors at locations that previously made radiation therapy too dangerous.
In addition, patients who are ill, frail, or otherwise health-compromised have an option when surgery cannot be performed.
A cancer diagnosis is a sobering one, and you want to find out the best treatment to ensure your health today, and in the future.
The good news is that if you live in the greater Miami area, the CyberKnife Center of Miami can help. Since its founding in 2003, CyberKnife Center of Miami has successfully treated more than 3,500 patients and is one of the top centers in the world. With The Beam of Life, CyberKnife Miami provides you with a choice when it comes to cancer care. Call today to see if you or a loved one is a candidate for the Beam of Life. Call us at (800) 204-0455 or contact us using our online appointment-request form.