CyberKnife and Prostate Cancer? How Does it Work?

Published on January 8, 2021

Cancer treatments have seen exponential growth in recent years. Thanks to the development of imaging technology and radiosurgery devices, doctors are now able to detect and treat cancer cells more accurately and more effectively. CyberKnife system is one such device used in radiation therapy that has seen a considerable amount of success. CyberKnife is proven effective in treating lung, brain, spine, head and neck, liver, pancreas, kidney, and prostate cancer. Let’s explore CyberKnife and prostate cancer.

What is CyberKnife?

CyberKnife system is a non-invasive radiation treatment used to detect and treat cancer cells and noncancerous tumor growth. It is a healthier, safer alternative to the existing radiation therapy that may lead to complications in the future. CyberKnife leverages the Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) that locates a tumor in its relation to the 3D space. The device uses a linear accelerator (LINAC), a robotic arm, and an image guidance system to focus high doses of radiation on a particular place. The robot moves at different angles and uses the real-time image data to concentrate on the exact location, leading to sub-millimetric accuracy. 

How can CyberKnife help you?

The biggest reason for CyberKnife’s popularity is its convenience. CyberKnife is designed as a better alternative to the existing, often painful radiosurgery that can leave a lasting impact on the patient’s body. 

  • Cancer cells or tumors in parts like the prostate tend to move frequently. The CyberKnife system is incredibly precise in its treatment. The Synchrony technology adapts to the movements and targets the location directly. 
  • Radiotherapy can take a toll on the physical and mental health of the patients since everyone has a unique condition. CyberKnife doesn’t employ any anesthetic or surgical method and it is completely non-invasive. 
  • Most radiotherapy treatments last for several weeks and require multiple visits. CyberKnife treatment can be completed in just 4-5 sessions over 1-2 weeks. Each session lasts less than an hour. Studies often show that high energy radiation beams geared towards a shorter span of treatment helps in better results.
  • The CyberKnife system simplifies prostate cancer treatment. It is an outpatient procedure so you don’t need to be hospitalized for this. You can just lie on the RoboCouch Patient Positioning System and your surgeon the robotic arm will take care of the rest. Patients can go on with their lives without worrying about post-treatment issues.

Are there any side effects?

Thanks to its ability to work precisely, the CyberKnife system is actually safer than other options. The accuracy helps in preventing sexual, urinary, or bowel complications. But it is possible for radiation treatments to come with a few minor and temporary side effects. These include, however not limited to:

  • Constipation
  • Fecal and urinary urgency, 
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence 
  • Hemorrhoid, rectal bleeding
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Blood in stool

CyberKnife system offers a precise yet comfortable treatment. But before you opt for this, you need to consult experts regarding the proper course of action, the procedure, the expected result, and the risks involved. Learn more on my website on prostate cancer and health. 

Dr. Howard Tay is a board-certified urologist in Arizona certified by the American Board of Urology. He is an active member in the American Urological Association. He has practiced urology in Arizona since 1996. Dr. Tay is recognized as a leading Arizona urologist, including several Phoenix Magazine “Top Doc” awards for urology. He is an active member in advancing urology in the state of Arizona and serves on several hospital committees as is past Department Chair of Surgery at Banner Thunderbird Hospital. In addition to his practice, he is an educator training medical student and physician assistants in urology at Midwestern University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona Medical School-Phoenix Campus. Dr. Tay and his wife Christina met while still in college at UC Berkeley and have been together through Dr. Tay’s medical school and residency. They have two children, Kimberly and Kevin. In his spare time, Dr. Tay enjoys tennis, racquet ball and golf as well as target shooting, restoring classic cars and home improvement projects. He and Christina love to travel.

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