CyberKnife Treatment for Cancer Recurrences
Cancer recurrence, or relapse, is the return of cancer after treatment and after a period of time during which the cancer cannot be detected. The same cancer can come back where it first started or somewhere else in the body. The odds of a cancer recurring depend on the type of cancer and its extent within the body at the time of treatment.
Recurrence of cancer is often emotionally deflating for patients and their loved ones who have endured treatment and hope of recovery only to face the same issues again.
Far too often, patients treated with traditional radiation require additional treatment. Radiotherapy with CyberKnife can manage and reduce future cancer recurrences.
The accuracy CyberKnife provides allows clinicians to deliver high doses of radiation more safely than traditional radiation therapy — and more efficiently than other radiotherapy treatments—because the small size of the radiation field and it’s ability to avoid giving critical parts of the body around the recurrent tumor any significant amount of additional treatment.
Anova Cancer Care’s CyberKnife radiotherapy treatment may be an appropriate therapy option for recurrent cancers, including the most common ones listed below.
Breast cancer recurrence
Breast cancer may recur at any time but most relapses occur in the first five years after treatment. Breast cancer can come back as a local recurrence (near the mastectomy scar or treated breast area) or somewhere else in the body. The most common areas of recurrence outside the breast are the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bones and brain.
Lung cancer recurrence
Lung cancer can occur at the site of previous surgery or radiation therapy and it can also develop at other sites in the body such as the brain, bones, adrenal glands, liver, and other sites. Patients are often told they cannot have more radiation therapy once they have been treated with it. Treatment with the CyberKnife is the exception to this rule and many patients have benefitted from it. If you or a loved one are in this situation it may be valuable to arrange for a consult with Dr. McNeely.
Recurrence in cancer in bones including the spine, after previous treatment
Recurrence of metastatic cancer in bones or the spine that have been previously treated is not uncommon and is a condition that can be readily treated with the CyberKnife with excellent and very durable results.
Recurrence of cancer in the brain
Recurrence of primary or metastatic tumors in the brain can be managed with CyberKnife treatment often with excellent results and a minimal risk of side effects. It is not unusual for there to be no side effects at all.
Prostate cancer recurrence
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels usually drop to a stable and low level after radiation therapy. If PSA levels begin to rise after treatment, a local recurrence (tissue next to the prostate or in the seminal vesicles) or distant recurrence (lymph nodes outside the pelvis area) may occur, requiring additional testing. For more information on prostate cancer, click here. CyberKnife can precisely target the recurring cancer tumors less invasively and with minimal side effects.
Ovarian cancer recurrences
About 80 percent of patients with Fallopian tube, ovarian epithelial or primary peritoneal cancer will experience a recurrence of their cancers after their first chemotherapy treatments. They require additional therapies, and some can benefit from CyberKnife treatment. CyberKnife provides minimally-invasive, convenient treatment for women who have an isolated recurrence of ovarian cancer after previously failed treatments of chemotherapy and surgery.
CyberKnife for patients undergoing other treatments
When confronting cancer, patients may undergo a combination of treatment options in their road toward recovery.
CyberKnife is safe and effective for patients who have either gone through previous types of treatment or are currently undergoing other cancer treatments. These include:
• Chemotherapy patients
• Radiation patients
• Immunotherapy patients
• Proton Therapy patients.
It is important that these patients provide their CyberKnife physician with a complete medical history, so he or she can prescribe the appropriate treatment course. When deciding on the best treatment (or combination of treatments), doctors should discuss individual patient needs, health and how different cancers may respond.