CyberKnife is a form of high-dose radiation treatment for prostate cancer and other types of cancer. CyberKnife's robotic arm delivers Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) to the prostate while compensating for movements of the prostate and, theoretically, protecting nearby tissue.
The movement of the prostate is tracked through three to five tiny gold seeds, known as fiducial markers, that are inserted in the prostate through ultrasound-guided needles before radiation treatment. Treatment duration is normally four to five days. CyberKnife is a relatively new treatment method for prostate cancer, and clinical trials are underway to determine its long-term effectiveness and proper dosage levels.
CyberKnife treatments offer benefits that may be more appropriate than surgery. Some of the key benefits of CyberKnife include:
CyberKnife can treat various types of cancer at over 1,400 different angles. This means a more accurate radiation dose to the cancer cells, while nearby healthy tissue and organs are not impacted.
CyberKnife requires one to five treatments completed over the course of two weeks. Other types of radiation therapy may require more frequent trips to the cancer center over the course of several weeks.
If you've never heard of CyberKnife treatment, it's only natural that you'll have questions about what to expect during treatment. Let's take a look at each step of the process to have a clear understanding of what should happen.
As with any cancer treatment, you'll receive a thorough consultation from your radiation oncologist. Your treatment team will explain your diagnosis, treatment plan, and what you should expect throughout your recovery. This appointment is an excellent time to ask questions and discuss any concerns that you may have.
MRIs, CTs, and 3D imaging will be used to map out your tumor's size, shape, and location. The detailed picture that your doctor gets from imaging will ensure that you receive the proper radiation treatment.
Next, your doctor may place small metal markers in or nearby the tumor. These markers guide the radiation beams to ensure that only the cancer cells are impacted during treatment.
You'll be asked to change into a medical gown before being positioned on the table. You should expect one to five one-hour long treatments over the course of two weeks. Your doctor may allow you to occupy your time with listening to music or an audiobook. However, it is necessary to remain still during the treatment to ensure only the cancer cells remain targeted.
Cyberknife is considered a minimally invasive procedure. While there are some side effects, most patients only experience them for a short time, and they are minimal. However, some patients experience severe side effects in the rectum or bladder wall. Some of the side effects include:
Blood in stool
You may return to normal activities, but your doctor may minimize some physical activity on a case-by-case basis.
As with any cancer treatment, you'll be required to have follow-up care after CyberKnife treatment. You'll be expected to have scheduled PSA tests to see how well the tumor responded to the treatment and to learn if you need additional treatments. Your doctor will provide additional recommendations based on the outcome of these tests.
Do you want to select a prostate cancer treatment based on convenience or cure rates?
You should also ask your radiation oncologist if this treatment method will eliminate prostate cancer cells around the prostate that may have escaped through microscopic capsule penetration.
If you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, it's critical to personally research prostate cancer treatment options to make an informed decision that is best for you and your family. With few exceptions, your first treatment generally gives you the best chance for success.
ProstRcision® has high documented disease-free survival rates using the strictest definition (PSA less than 0.2 ng/ml, 10 years after treatment). This unique approach to eradicating prostate cancer preserves sexual function and maintains urinary control for the vast majority of men. The documented 10-year and 15-year high disease-free survival rates, combined with no cutting of the prostate and very few side effects, are why over 16,000 men from all 50 states and over 40 countries have chosen ProstRcision.
Find out more about prostate cancer treatment options, including ProstRcision, in our free prostate cancer guide booklet. Or contact our Prostate Cancer Nurse Patient Navigator to get your questions answered and to request a consultation with a radiation oncologist.
Make an informed prostate cancer treatment decision. Our 40-page, comprehensive guidebook provides answers to our most frequently asked questions from men diagnosed with prostate cancer, and compares various treatment methods, cure rates and side effects. Our team can also connect you with one of our oncologists at no cost.