The CyberKnife Radiosurgery System is a clinically-proven treatment that is very effective in treating lung cancer alone, or in conjunction with other treatment methods. The cancer experts at Alaska CyberKnife work closely with your medical team to determine how CyberKnife treatment can best work in your treatment plan. One of the challenges in treating lung cancer is that the tumors in the lungs can move during radiation treatment. Ensuring radiotherapy is targeted only to the cancerous cells is important in killing the cancer as well as not damaging nearby healthy tissue and organs.

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 lung tissue, there is less risk of damaging vital functions of the lung and far fewer side effects. And the recovery time is usually hours instead of weeks.

How Are Lung Tumors Treated?

If you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer, how to proceed with treatment can be complicated. There are many different types of treatment and combinations of treatments that can be developed based on:

  • The stage of your cancer
  • The size and location of your tumor(s)
  • Whether the lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body
  • Your age
  • Your physical condition
  • Any past surgeries you’ve had
  • Any past treatments you’ve had
  • Current medications you may be taking

At Alaska CyberKnife, our radiation oncologists will work with your medical team to evaluate your condition and circumstances completely. Then, they will develop a multi-disciplinary treatment plan that addresses all of your needs in the best way possible. Options for treatment may include:

  • Surgery – Surgery is the most frequent method used for treating lung cancer, and involves removing part or all of the lung along with the affected tissue. It’s usually used when the tumors are centralized and not likely to spread. Surgery may also be used before, during, or after other forms of cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy, to ensure patients receive the best options to fit their individual needs. This type of procedure can often be challenging and our board certified radiation oncologists work closely with surgeons, pulmonologists, and medical oncologists to determine the best method for each patient. Non-invasive alternatives are always considered.
  • CyberKnife and Other Radiation Therapies
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Clinical trials, and/or palliative care

Alaska Lung Cancer Treatment With CyberKnife

Radiation therapy is often used to treat lung cancer, sometimes in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgery. Utilizing the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, you can target your lung tumors with a precision unmatched by any other radiation treatment method.  Recent studies show patients have had more favorable results when their early stage operable lung cancer was treated with CyberKnife stereotactic radiation therapy (SABR) rather than surgery. Even lung surgeons see the importance of utilizing the CyberKnife system to treat lung cancer as they explain here.

Because they are attached to or in your lungs, lung tumors are always moving, and can move as much as two inches with every breath. Unlike ALL other treatment systems, the non-surgical and non-invasive CyberKnife synchronizes with the movement of the tumor, continually verifying that it is precisely on target, delivering beams of high-dose radiation from all angles with pin-point precision. The unique combination of a flexible, robotic arm, the intelligent tumor tracking software and real time imaging track the smallest of movements and adjust radiation directly to the cancerous cells while you rest on a comfortable outpatient treatment center table.  This focus minimizes the radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue and organs and limits some of the short and long-term side effects common with conventional treatments. Much shorter than traditional radiation treatment, CyberKnife treatment is administered in one to five days.

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The Pain-Free, Effective CyberKnife Treatment Process

  1. Once you contact Alaska CyberKnife, our radiation oncologist will confer with your oncologist, surgeon and the rest of your team of caregivers to determine the best treatment options for you.
  2. On your first visit, before your treatment begins, you will visit our conveniently located CyberKnife center in Anchorage to prepare a body cradle and have an initial CT scan of your body. This soft padded mat will be formed in your shape. You will lie in this treatment couch during your CyberKnife treatments to help keep you as still as possible while receiving the radiation. Your initial CT scan will show the doctors your exact shape, size and location of your tumor(s). Sometimes other scans may be ordered to make sure your doctors have a clear picture of your cancer.
  3. The images from your scan(s) will be uploaded to the CyberKnife software where your cancer team will analyze and evaluate the radiation needs for your lung cancer as well as the vital healthy tissue around the lungs to avoid. They will determine the dose of radiation you need in each tiny area and program this information into the CyberKnife system.
  4. Once your team discusses the proposed treatment plan, dress comfortably, grab your music, and return to our outpatient Anchorage CyberKnife Center, located in Providence Cancer Center, for your first treatment.
  5. Your short treatment session involves lying in your cradle on our comfortable treatment couch and listening to your music, if you choose, while our pain-free CyberKnife robotic arm moves around your head delivering high doses of radiation 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.
  6. With few side effects, most patients can go about their normal daily routine within a few hours of finishing their CyberKnife radiation treatment.
  7. Your doctors may plan up to five daily short sessions, depending on your individual needs. You would return to the Center for each of these sessions.
  8. Once your treatment is complete, you will want to follow up with your doctor to monitor the success of the treatment and insure the cancer doesn’t return.

CyberKnife Benefits For Lung Cancer

  • No cutting or anesthesia. With CyberKnife treatment, you can avoid the trauma and potential dangers of surgery.
  • Absolute 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(s) to kill cancerous cells and avoid damaging healthy surrounding tissue.
  • Pain-free comfort. Not only can you avoid surgery, you can relax on a comfortable treatment couch for each short, pain-free session.
  • Follows your moving lung tumor. Lung tumors in your chest can move as much as two inches. CyberKnife’s advanced system is able to track even the tiniest submillimeter movement of your lung tumor(s) 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 insure radiation hits the mark every second.
  • Short Treatment Time. Your CyberKnife treatments for lung cancer will be short daily sessions that last from one to five days. With other types of radiation therapy, treatments can last daily up to 45 days.
  • Fewer Side Effects. CyberKnife’s incredible accuracy helps save nearby healthy lung 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.

Find Out How CyberKnife Can Help You Today!

If you or a loved one is fighting lung cancer, don’t wait to find out how CyberKnife can help effectively treat this dangerous disease. 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. Our caring professionals look forward to providing the best possible outcomes for your specific situation.

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