CyberKnife radiosurgery (CKRS) is a painless, non-invasive treatment that delivers high doses of radiation with sub-millimeter precision to cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body including the prostate, spine, brain, lung, neck and head.
How is CyberKnife Treatment Performed?
In CyberKnife procedure, a flexible robotic arm is used to deliver highly focused beams of radiation. So the flexibility of the robotic arm enables the beams to precisely target areas such as the spine and spinal cord that cannot be treated properly by other radiosurgery techniques. Precision is an extremely important factor in CyberKnife therapy. The robotic design of CyberKnife system enables doctors to find the best angles and locations for radioactive beams to enter and exit the patient’s body, thus maximizing precision for targeted beams while minimizing exposure and damage to healthy tissues. CyberKnife radiosurgery is a relatively easier and more comfortable treatment compared to other traditional open surgeries as it allows patients to lie comfortably on a cushioned treatment table without anesthesia and surgical incision while the robotic arm moves and treat all areas of the tumor. CyberKnife treatment is also performed on an outpatient basis with each treatment lasting between 30 to 90 minutes. The number of treatments may vary depending on the tumor’s location, size, and shape, but generally, only one to four or five daily treatment sessions are required.
What to Expect After CyberKnife Treatment?
When the procedure is done, patients are mostly able to go back to their usual activities but will need someone to drive them home immediately after treatment. CyberKnife treatment results may generally take weeks or months to detect. The outcome depends on the severity of the condition being treated. However, the doctor regularly monitors the patient’s progress through periodic follow-up examinations and imaging tests and scans to assess the tumor’s response to the delivered radiation. The follow-up control of the patient’s condition is generally done in 3 to 6 months after the CyberKnife treatment is performed.
CyberKnife Treatment Side Effects
After CyberKnife treatment, patients may experience headaches or feel nauseated and tired. These side effects of CyberKnife treatment are generally temporary and most likely to dissipate within a couple of days. Uncommon or delayed complications such as skin reddening, vomiting, swelling, inflammation or scarring in the treatment area are less likely to occur (depending on the patient’s body immunity).
CyberKnife Treatment Cost
CyberKnife treatment can cost 20 to 45 percent less than conventional surgery. However, the cost of CyberKnife treatment is generally determined by the type and severity of the tumor, as well as the scope and quantity of radioactive beams necessary for an effective treatment procedure. Specialists perform a detailed and thorough diagnosis and provide the patient full information on the cost of the treatment. The cost of CyberKnife radiosurgery (CKRS) may also vary depending on the location where the treatment is performed. For example, in the UK, a typical CyberKnife therapy costs approximately €22,000 whereas, in Poland, a thorough CyberKnife treatment cost is around €8,000. Likewise, CyberKnife treatment cost in Turkey ranges between €7,000 and €9,000.