HOW CYBERKNIFE TREATMENT WORKS
Because the kidney is located near the bowel and lungs there is constant movement as a result of natural bodily functions, such as breathing and the passing of gas. Treating with conventional radiation solutions poses serious challenges for cancer doctors. To treat with conventional radiation technology, the patient is required to use uncomfortable stabilizing devices and/or breath holding techniques or gating during treatment.
The CyberKnife System addresses the challenge of conventional radiation therapy with its innovative and flexible robotic design and sophisticated image guidance and tumor tracking software. The combination of these features allow the system to adapt to the rhythm and movement of the kidney tumor. By doing this, radiation can be delivered with sub-millimeter accuracy, minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissues and organs and significantly reducing the side effects often associated with radiation therapy.
The Alaska CyberKnife Center at Providence Cancer Center treatment process includes three parts:
- Treatment Planning – If you are deemed a candidate for CyberKnife treatment, you will first start with imaging. This is an initial CT scan that provides our board certified radiation oncologists with an accurate reading of tumor placement as well as surrounding anatomy. This imagery is used to develop a personalized treatment plan just for you.
- Treatment Sessions – When you arrive at the center for treatment, you will be asked to lie on the treatment couch. The CyberKnife System will then begin delivering radiation via its robotic arm. Using tumor-tracking software, the arm will rotate to ensure effective radiation delivery. Following the session, you are able to return home and continue with your regular routine. Treatment is completed in one to five sessions over the course of a week.
- Post-Treatment Life – Once your treatment is completed, there is little to no recovery time, and you can feel comfortable returning to daily activities. Some patients experience short term side effects.