If you’re searching for a non-invasive, pain-free and effective treatment for primary brain tumors (tumors which start in the brain) or brain metastases (cancer which has spread to the brain), Alaska CyberKnife has it. The CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is clinically-proven effective in treating all kinds of brain tumors in a variety of situations. The expert radiation oncologists at Alaska CyberKnife work closely with your neurosurgeon to determine the best fit for CyberKnife in your treatment plan. CyberKnife can be used in place of surgery to kill cancerous cells in hard-to-reach or dangerous places in the brain, or for those who either aren’t able to undergo surgery or prefer not to have surgery. CyberKnife is also effective in treating the tumor cavity following surgery and for recurrent brain tumors.
The effectiveness of the CyberKnife treatment stems from the orchestration of a flexible, robotic arm, state-of-the art software and a tumor-tracking imaging system. Together, our experts can see your tumor in real-time and direct hundreds of high-dose radiation beams to the exact location of your tumor, even as it moves ever-so-slightly. By focusing the radiation only on the cancerous cells and avoiding the healthy brain tissue, there is less risk of damaging vital functions of the brain and far fewer side effects. Patients can immediately return to the same level of function as was present prior to CyberKnife.
HOW ARE BRAIN TUMORS TREATED?
Choosing Alaska CyberKnife means acquiring additional experts to your team of doctors and specialists. Our Board Certified radiation oncologists will work with your team to develop the best treatment options for your individual case. Together, we will look at the following factors to determine your comprehensive treatment plan:
- Brain tumor size, type, location and quantity
- The grade of your brain tumor, based on its aggressiveness
- Possible side effects that might impact your quality of life both during and after treatment
- Your own strength, health and preferences
After reviewing these elements and with you in consultation, your team will come up with the best treatment plan which may include any or all of the following brain cancer treatments:
- Radiation therapy (using high-energy x-rays to kill or damage cancerous cells)
- Surgery (removing the tumor through a surgical incision in the skull)
- Chemotherapy (using a combination of drugs to stop cancer cell growth)
- Targeted therapy (using drugs that stop cancer from growing by targeting specific genes or proteins)
- Active Surveillance (watching the tumor to see how/if it grows)
Other types of therapy are being developed and tested such as proton beam radiation therapy and biologic therapy.
ALASKA BRAIN CANCER TREATMENT WITH CYBERKNIFE
Treatment for brain cancer is often more difficult than treatment for other types of cancer due to the location of the tumors and the effect that even a benign tumor can have on the everyday functions controlled by your brain. Tumors of any kind can permeate vital areas of your brain and put pressure on certain nerves that can cause life-threatening situations. In certain situations, your neurosurgeon may suggest that you have the tumor surgically removed immediately. Even with surgery, CyberKnife is often called upon to provide radiation therapy following tumor removal to decrease the risk that the cancer returns.
CyberKnife can also offer an alternative to surgery for patients with tumors that are difficult to access with surgical tools. Some patients are too ill or just don’t want to go through the difficulty of surgery and the recovery process and so will choose the CyberKnife radiosurgery instead of surgery. CyberKnife can also be used for patients with recurrent brain cancer.
What draws doctors and patients to the CyberKnife system is its incredible, pinpoint accuracy. It’s effective because it can deliver high-doses of radiation that kill cancerous cells while sparing the healthy, vital tissue in the brain. This reduces the risk of complications from damaging healthy tissue as well as the side effects often seen by other treatment methods. The robotic arm is so flexible it can reach around your head at any angle to deliver beams of radiotherapy to the tumor.
The software and imaging systems work together to track even the smallest movement in your tumor. The treatment course is completed in one to five treatments and are completely pain-free, allowing you to return to your normal daily routine immediately. For many patients, the CyberKnife is much more appealing than traditional radiotherapy treatments, which can go sometimes last for up to seven weeks or surgery, which can take weeks of recovery time.
THE CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT PROCEDURE IS EFFORTLESS
- Once you contact Alaska CyberKnife, our radiation oncologist will confer with your neurosurgeon and the rest of your team of caregivers to determine the best treatment options for you.
- On your first visit, before your treatment begins, you will visit our conveniently located CyberKnife Center in Anchorage to create a non-invasive mesh mask to help hold you in place during treatment followed by a non-contrast CT scan. With the mask in place, your CT scan will show the doctors your exact shape, size and location of your tumor. An MRI scan will then be fused to the CT scan for precise delineation of the target. This mask will be stored at our center during your treatment.
- The images from your scan(s) will be uploaded to the CyberKnife software where your cancer team will analyze and evaluate the radiotherapy needs for your tumor as well as the vital healthy tissue around the brain that needs to be avoided. They will determine the dose of radiotherapy needed in each tiny area and program this information into the CyberKnife system.
- Once your team discusses the proposed treatment plan, dress comfortably, grab your music, and return to our outpatient Alaska CyberKnife Center for your first treatment. The Alaska CyberKnife Center is conveniently located in the lower level of the Providence Cancer Center in Anchorage, Alaska.
- Your short treatment session involves lying on our comfortable treatment couch with your fitted mesh mask and listening to your music (if you choose). During your treatment, the CyberKnife robotic arm moves around your head, delivering high doses of radiotherapy to your tumor. Our sophisticated tumor-tracking software and real-time imaging system work together to pinpoint the exact location of your tumor and move with any movement of your tumor to kill the cancerous cells.
- With few side effects, most patients can go about their normal daily routine within minutes of finishing their CyberKnife radiosurgery.
- Your doctors may plan up to five daily short sessions, depending on your individual needs. You would return to the Alaska CyberKnife Center for each of these sessions.
- Once your treatment is complete, you will want to follow up with your doctor to monitor the success of the treatment.
CYBERKNIFE BENEFITS FOR BRAIN CANCER
- No surgery. With CyberKnife treatment, you can avoid the trauma and potential dangers of brain surgery. There’s no cutting and no anesthesia.
- Pinpoint accuracy. With CyberKnife’s flexible robotic arm paired with the sophisticated software and real-time imaging system, high doses of radiation are beamed to the precise location of your tumor to kill cancerous cells and avoid damaging healthy surrounding tissue.
- Pain-free. Not only can you avoid surgery, you can relax on a comfortable treatment couch with only a lightweight, mesh mask for each short, pain-free session. With Gamma Knife, an alternative radiation therapy, your head is bolted down with a solid metal frame to avoid movement.
- Tumor Tracking Precision. CyberKnife’s advanced system is able to track even the tiniest submillimeter movement of your tumor and adjust the radiation beams accordingly. It accomplishes this using all of your CT, MRI or PET scan images, combined with the real-time images sent through the software to ensure radiotherapy hits the mark every second.
- Reduced treatment time. Your CyberKnife treatments for brain cancer will be short daily sessions that last from one to five days. With other types of radiation therapy, treatments can occur every day for six weeks.
- Less Side Effects. CyberKnife’s incredible accuracy helps save nearby healthy brain tissue from damage and reduce side effects. With fewer side effects, you’ll usually be able to get back to your regular activities in only a few hours without the delay of surgery recovery in a hospital or more serious radiation therapy side effects.
CALL FOR YOUR FREE PHONE CONSULTATION TODAY!
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with brain cancer, don’t wait to find out how CyberKnife can be an integral part of your treatment plan. Give us a call right now at (907) 312-2112 and speak to one of our expert radiation oncologists.
We think it’s important that you know all of your options and we can explain the procedures completely. You can also reach out to us using our online message form and we will respond to your questions or appointment request right away. Find out how effective the pain-free CyberKnife Radiosurgery System can be for you.
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