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At Pasadena CyberKnife, we believe everyone deserves the best of the best when it comes to cancer treatment. That’s why we’re proud to offer a wide range of cutting-edge radiation therapy treatments from our Pasadena cancer clinic, including the industry-leading CyberKnife cancer treatment system. CyberKnife is a noninvasive option for cancer treatment that often requires no incisions or chemo, but we know that for those unfamiliar with it, it can be confusing. That’s why we’re here to help you every step of the way, and that includes helping you understand what to expect from CyberKnife treatment.

What to Expect with CyberKnife Treatment

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, we understand how radiation treatments can sound unfamiliar and even a little bit scary – after all, radiation is usually considered dangerous. But don’t worry: your cancer doctor and compassionate treatment team will carefully explain every aspect of the treatment process, and we’ll be there to support you at every step. And even before your treatment, we want you to fully understand the technology and the process behind CyberKnife.

What Is CyberKnife?

CyberKnife is a new radiation therapy system that combines a number of cutting-edge technologies to create one of the most effective, comfortable, and technologically-advanced cancer treatments on the market today. Although CyberKnife may sound like a surgery, it’s not: instead of surgically removing a tumor, CyberKnife uses a precise beam of electromagnetic radiation – the same kind of energy as visible light – to target and destroy a cancerous tumor. Thanks to its world-class imaging and targeting technology, CyberKnife is able to deliver high-dose radiation to tumors with sub-millimeter accuracy, allowing us to eliminate cancerous cells without damaging surrounding tissues.

How to Prepare for CyberKnife Treatment

CyberKnife treatment planning is performed by a team that designs your unique treatment ahead of your first session. Several specialists, including medical physicists and a radiation oncologist, work together to create a personalized treatment plan just for you. Before your treatment begins, we’ll use a high-resolution CT scan to fully understand the size, shape, and location of any tumors, allowing your cancer care team to effectively plan your treatment.

Following scanning, we digitally transfer the image data to the CyberKnife System’s workstation. From there, our radiation oncologist and medical physicist determine the right radiation dosage and treatment angles for your tumors. They work together, often with a collaborating surgeon, to deliver a powerful dose of radiation dose to the exact location of the tumor, designing a treatment plan that attacks cancer cells while limiting radiation exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.

The Difference Between CyberKnife & Other Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy isn’t a new concept in cancer treatment, but what makes CyberKnife stand out is how effective and precise it is when delivering radiation.

Even when it feels like you’re being absolutely still, your body is in constant motion. Internal organs, like the bowels, are lined with smooth muscles that move constantly. Each time you breathe, your lungs expand and contract, creating even more movement within your body. Though completely natural, all of this motion presents challenges for many conventional radiation treatments.

With standard radiation treatments, doctors are forced to place patients inside compression and immobilization devices designed to keep their bodies perfectly still. One radiation treatment option for brain tumors, for example, requires doctors to screw holes into the patient’s skull to mount a head frame. It may sound extreme, but the radiation used to kill cancer cells is powerful, so it’s vital to keep surrounding healthy tissues protected.

The CyberKnife System ushers in a new paradigm in radiation treatment. Thanks to real-time imaging, tumor-tracking software, and state-of-the-art robotics, CyberKnife treatment can deliver high-dose radiation without the need for compression devices and immobilization techniques. Because of CyberKnife’s incredible precision, your team can deliver high-dosage radiation without damaging adjacent healthy cells. This means CyberKnife is administered as an outpatient procedure, allowing you to return home each day after your treatment session. In fact, most patients are able to resume normal day-to-day activities the same day that they receive treatment.

What Happens On the Day of CyberKnife Treatment

So what exactly happens when you receive CyberKnife treatment? You’re in for some good news: the CyberKnife procedure itself is pain-free, comfortable, and only requires you to visit our office one to times for your treatment sessions.

When we bring you into the treatment room for the procedure, all you’ll need to do is lie down on the comfortable treatment table. Depending on the location of your tumor, we may have you lie in a custom-made cradle, but you’ll never have to deal with uncomfortable restriction or immobilization devices. As you lie there, CyberKnife’s robotic arm will slowly move around your body to deliver a precisely-targeted dosage of radiation. All you have to do is relax.

As it works, the CyberKnife System will use real-time imaging technology and powerful tumor-tracking software to carefully track and predict even the most minute movements of the tumor. As your body moves, CyberKnife’s robotic arm automatically adjusts for the positioning and displacement of the tumor, ensuring that radiation hits the tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy. This allows it to target cancerous cells without damaging healthy tissue.

This remarkable accuracy also means that in addition to protecting surrounding tissue, CyberKnife patients only need between one and five sessions to treat cancer instead of the weeks of treatment sessions required by other methods. Each treatment session will typically last between 25 and 55 minutes depending on the type of tumor being treated, and you’ll receive your full dose of radiation over the course of one to five sessions as dictated by your treatment team. Side effects are usually minimal, and the most common problem patients experience is fatigue – but even this usually goes away within a couple weeks of treatment.

Schedule a CyberKnife Consultation in Los Angeles

We’re deeply excited about the possibilities that CyberKnife can offer, but we don’t want you to take our word for it. Take a look at our patient testimonials to see what other patients have to say about CyberKnife, and when you’re ready to experience the benefits for yourself, give us a call at 626-768-1021 to schedule your consultation. We look forward to hearing from you, and we’re excited to help you beat cancer through convenient, comfortable radiation therapy.