Contrary to its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical form of radiation therapy originally developed to treat tumors in the brain. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses focused radiation beams to precisely deliver high doses of radiation to target areas while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue.
The Treatment Process
Baptist Cancer Center uses the CyberKnife against tumors in the prostate, lungs, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidneys. The CyberKnife offers patients a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. CyberKnife treatments are typically performed on an outpatient-basis over the course of one to five days, requiring no overnight hospital stays. Most patients experience minimal to no side effects with a quick recovery time.
Once CyberKnife has been decided as part of a patient's treatment, CT and MRI scans will be used to develop an individual, inclusive treatment plan. With the exception of tumors in the brain or spine, treatment will require tumor markers called "fiducials" to be placed near the site of the tumor, and will be done on an outpatient basis.
Once the treatment plan is complete, our coordinator contacts the patient to arrange appointments to begin CyberKnife treatments. Treatments will consist of one to five days of sessions, with each session lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.
During CyberKnife treatments, patients may remain in their own clothes and will lie down for the entire treatment. Patients will not see, hear or feel the radiation. If discomfort is experienced at any time during the procedure, patients should let their care team know. While the staff must remain outside the room during treatment time, they will always be in communication. Patients are encouraged to bring their favorite music to their treatments to aid in relaxation.