What to Expect When You Have CyberKnife Treatment

CyberKnife treatment or radiotherapy is a revolutionary cancer treatment that has made treating tumors anywhere in the body much easier and more precise. It’s an effective alternative to traditional surgery and radiation therapy.

As with any new experience, you may feel scared before treatment, so we want to give you some idea about what you can expect from CyberKnife treatment. We hope this will make you feel more prepared and confident.

Your CyberKnife Treatment will be Unique and Painless

CyberKnife, while equally effective at treating cancer as more invasive measures, requires no cutting, no anesthesia and no recovery time. It’s an out-patient treatment that requires no hospitalization. CyberKnife is much faster than other treatment options and completely painless because it treats the tumor with high dose radiation that’s precisely targeted, affecting as little of the surrounding tissue as possible. CyberKnife uses a combination of image guidance and high-precision robotics to deliver concentrated and extremely accurate beams of radiation to a specific target.

In most cases, the entire treatment lasts just one to two weeks, over four to five sessions, and most patients report having only a few minor side effects, or none at all.

Additionally, you can feel safe, as the procedure is a proven one. Numerous studies of its efficacy and safety have been performed over the 30-plus years of CyberKnife’s existence.

What to Expect During Your CyberKnife Treatment

You’ll have a dedicated team whose primary focus is you. Your team will consist of a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, surgeon, physicist and nurse, each trained in the unique CyberKnife treatment procedure.

During treatment sessions, which typically last an hour, you’ll lie still while the machine is in operation and you’ll see it moving. You won’t feel any pain, but some patients experience slight discomfort from staying perfectly still. To distract yourself, you can bring relaxing music (or a good audiobook) to listen to during treatment.

What to Expect After Your CyberKnife Treatment

The effects of the treatment vary and can occur gradually over time. Each tumor reacts differently, and it might take days, months, or even years to subside. Some tumors merely stop growing and present no further issues. Whatever the case may be, you’ll have periodic MRI or CT scans so the doctor can monitor your healing.

Side effects are generally mild and infrequent and may include headaches, nausea and tiredness, all of which are temporary. Uncommon side effects include vomiting and red skin. Some delayed side effects include swelling, scarring or inflammation of the treated area. Discuss any of these with your doctor so he or she can address them, modify your treatment plan as necessary and increase your comfort.

Thousands of men and women diagnosed with cancer each year turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists with more than 20 years of experience fighting cancer using state-of-the-art cancer equipment. We encourage you to call us at 850-610-3743, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion, so you too can experience the difference.