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The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery

Medically inoperable lung cancer can be both frightening and frustrating to treat, as the surgical treatment option is unavailable. Patients are inoperable when they suffer from other medical conditions such as pre-existing lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or heart disease. These other conditions impede treatment by surgery because of the risk for complications such as respiratory and heart failure, or even death.

As an alternative, medically inoperable lung cancer patients have turned to various treatment options that are painful and invasive, and damaging to the body, such as chemotherapy, radiofrequency ablation and cryotherapy, which attack the cancer broadly, exposing both cancerous and healthy tissue to radiation. Now there is another option that allows patients to avoid this bleak outcome: The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is a new technology designed to treat tumors, including inoperable lung cancer, with pinpoint accuracy—in effect, exclusively coating the tumor with radiation, sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. This miraculous technology is not only advanced in its ability to preserve healthy tissue, but is pain-free because of its sophisticated tracking software that allows a patient to sit-back unrestrained and without invasive head or body frames. Other forms of radiosurgery require head-frames that are screwed into the patient’s skull—a painful, intrusive procedure that leaves the patient with a long recovery. The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery is an outpatient procedure administered with no anesthesia required. There is no recovery time, allowing patients to immediately return to normal activity. The CyberKnife treatment simply delivers beams of high dose radiation to the cancer with extreme accuracy, preserving the healthy tissue and leaving patients feeling good.

Here is how it works: Prior to the procedure, the patient is imaged using a high-resolution CT scan, to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor. The image data is then digitally transferred to the CyberKnife System's workstation, where a clinician uses the CyberKnife software to generate a treatment plan. The plan is used to match the desired radiation dose to the identified tumor location while limiting radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue. With a treatment plan in place, the patient is ready to begin treatment. After arriving at the CyberKnife Center, The patient is positioned on the treatment table, where the CyberKnife’s computer-controlled robot slowly moves around the patient to the various locations from which it will deliver radiation to the tumor. This lasts between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the type of tumor being treated. It’s as easy as that!

Treating medically inoperable lung cancer has heretofore left the patient with few options, all of which were painful and involved long recoveries. CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System provides an alternative method that treats only the cancerous tissue through a pain-free, non-invasive, timely procedure that requires no recovery, leaving the patient free to immediately return to normal activity.

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