Any cancer diagnosis is a scary one, but when it spreads, patients can be overwhelmed with the enormity of treating it. Austin CyberKnife makes it their mission to pinpoint the disease and tackle it while helping patients keep up with their regular lives. Dr. Twisha Verma is a radiation oncologist with Austin CyberKnife and Austin Cancer Center, and she joined us in the studio with more details. Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body. If the cells travel through the lymph system, they may end up in nearby lymph nodes or they may spread to other organs. More often, cancer cells that break off from the main tumor travel through the bloodstream. Once in the blood, they can go to any part of the body. The most common areas cancer cells spread to are the brain, lungs, liver and bones. When cancer spreads to another area, it has the same name and the same type as the original cancer. For example, renal cell cancer that has spread to the lung is called metastatic renal cell cancer, not lung cancer.
At Austin CyberKnife, cancer is treated with the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System. CyberKnife is a painless, nonsurgical alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body. The treatment delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme and features a device that controls the width of the radiation beams the machine delivers during treatment, allowing our clinical experts to vary the beam size and treat a larger variety of tumors throughout the body.
Benefits of using CyberKnife for cancer treatment
- There are numerous benefits of CyberKnife treatment, including:
- It’s noninvasive, meaning no incisions
- There is no anesthesia or hospitalization required
- It’s painless
- It’s completed in five or fewer outpatient treatment sessions
- There is little to no recovery time, allowing for an immediate return to daily activities
- There are minimal, if any, side effects
- Due to pinpoint precision of high-dose radiation delivery, there is minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor
Re-irradiation is retreating an area of the body that has previously been treated for cancer. For patients experiencing a recurrence of their cancer, CyberKnife has particular advantages for treating areas of the body that have been previously treated with surgery or radiation. Compared with re-irradiation using conventional radiotherapy techniques, advanced radiation techniques, like stereotactic body radiosurgery, create a far more precise dose distribution, effectively limiting the normal tissue exposure to excessive radiation. This creates a greater possibility for durable local control and long-term disease-free survival while reducing the risk of short and long term radiation related side effects. A good example of using CyberKnife for re-irradiation is retreating brain tumors. Some people think that a patient cannot have CyberKnife treatment after having whole brain radiotherapy on a LINAC, when in fact, we can do some CyberKnife treatment for brain tumors, even if the patient has had previous whole brain radiotherapy.
Austin CyberKnife is located on I-35 in the University Medical Center Brackenridge. Give them a call at 512-324-8060 or go to austincyberknife.com.
Sponsored by Austin CyberKnife. Opinions expressed by guests on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.