Two radiation therapy treatments you hear a lot about today are CyberKnife and Proton Therapy.
CyberKnife uses photons, the same type of beams used in X-ray machines.
However, in radiation therapy, much higher energy photon beams, called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), are used.
Using many different angles to focus the radiation at one small point, SBRT delivers a high dose of radiation very precisely to a tumor.
By using a large number of beam angles to deliver the radiation, SBRT lowers the damaging effects to normal health tissue and side effects, which the radiation passes through, but delivers a large dose of radiation to a single point where all of the beams come together at the tumor site.
Proton Therapy has the capability of minimizing damage to healthy tissue through the use of particle therapy. During proton therapy, doctors determine the precise point in a patient’s body where the proton releases the majority of energy, maximizing exposure to the treatment area.
While both treatments are forms of radiation therapy, CyberKnife has advantages over Proton Therapy, including the number of treatments needed (only three to five treatments over 5 to 10 days compared to many more treatments over six to seven weeks needed for Proton Therapy) and CyberKnife has th abiiity to do continuous correction for breathing and movement during treatment, further reducing normal tissue exposure to radiation.
In addition, Proton Therapy is still not widely available because the machines that produce and deliver protons are extremely large, need dedicated space, and are very expensive.
Because of this, Proton Therapy is only available in a small number of centers around the country which may delay or prevent treatment for patients who need treatment quickly.
Also many insurance companies still may not approve payment of the treatment.
So When it comes to radiation therapy, patients need to explore all their options with their physician, and learn as much as they can, to determine which treatment is best for them and their type of cancer or condition.
At CyberKnife Miami we will walk you through all your treatment options and help you determine which is best for you, taking into account your lifestyle, and most important, which treatment gives you the best chance at conquering your cancer, whether that is CyberKnife or not.
We put patients first. Our mission is to get your treated safely and effectively, as quickly as possible.
Call us at 305-279-2900 to set up a consultation or just to get a second opinion.
Chances are we can help you and if not point you in the right and best direction.