Pancreatic Cancer – CyberKnife Treatment

Palo Verde Cancer Specialists offers a variety of radiation therapies from the comfort of their conveniently located locations throughout the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas. The cancer experts at Palo Verde are skilled at using these therapies to treat all types of cancer. The initial thought for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is usually surgery, known as the Whipple procedure. However, studies show that using external beam radiation after surgery along with chemotherapy, in conjunction with surgery offers better outcomes than surgery alone. Clinical studies have shown that this combination of treatments can reduce the recurrence rate of local-regional pancreatic cancer and modestly improve survival.

The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is the most precise external beam radiation available. It’s a stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) that allows oncologists to deliver an accurate, high dose of radiation to your tumor with extreme precision, tracking even its slightest movement. Because of its unmatched precision, it more effectively kills cancerous cells while sparing nearby healthy tissue limiting potential side effects and negative consequences.

The non-invasive, non-surgical nature of the CyberKnife treatments are administered in our Phoenix area offices and are often preferred for patients who have other health concerns and cannot undergo surgery. CyberKnife treatments are given daily for up to five days, on an outpatient basis. The treatments are painless and each session takes only about 45 minutes to deliver, resulting in fewer complications and minimal side effects when compared to other pancreatic cancer treatment options.

How CyberKnife Effectively Treats Pancreatic Cancer

CyberKnife is clinically proven to effectively treat pancreatic cancer and is used at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists in a number of ways:

  • Before surgery to give a better chance for surgery to work
  • Instead of surgery
  • After surgery to treat any microscopic cells remaining, or
  • In combination with chemotherapy

Radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons turn to CyberKnife treatment when patients prefer to not undergo the risks and consequences of surgery, or when surgery is determined to be too dangerous or ineffective for the patient. CyberKnife treatment is give in one to five short sessions daily within one week as opposed to the weeks of daily treatments required for other radiation treatments or the days of surgery recovery.

One of the challenges of using radiation therapy to treat pancreatic cancer is the way the tumor moves as you breathe regularly. CyberKnife has mastered this challenge. With submillimeter precision, the flexible, robotic arm of the CyberKnife attacks your tumor with beams of high-dose radiation and its motion-tracking imaging system tracks even the slightest movement. It adjusts the robotic arm to keep the beams of radiation pinpointed on your exact tumor location while you lie on the comfortable treatment couch in one of our Phoenix treatment centers. This precision gives the optimal dose of radiation to your cancerous cells and protects the nearby nerves, tissues and other organs from radiation. This means less chance of damaging an important organ or nerve and minimal side effects from radiation treatment.

The Process of CyberKnife Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in Phoenix

This treatment requires no surgery, anesthesia or hospital stay. CyberKnife is performed on an outpatient basis in one of our convenient Phoenix or Scottsdale area treatment offices. The CyberKnife services at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists include treatment planning, treatment sessions, and post-treatment follow-up appointments.

  • During your first treatment visits, our medical and radiation oncologists will work with your medical team which may include: your primary oncologist, a general surgeon, a medical physicist, and medical support staff to evaluate existing data such as biopsy results, imaging and other information.
  • After discussing the proposed treatment plan and options with you, our team will move forward with the agreed upon plan.
  • About two weeks before beginning treatment, our professionals will implant three to six markers, or fiducials, around your pancreatic tumor. They are tiny gold seeds about the size of a piece of rice.This is done on an outpatient basis in one of our Scottsdale area offices. These markers will help doctors track the exact location of your tumor during treatment.
  • Before your treatment you will be fitted with a custom body cradle to help keep you comfortable and ensure you are in the same position for each treatment. You also will be fitted with a special vest that you will wear during treatment to allow the robot to correlate chest motion and breathing patterns with your tumor’s position. While using both of these, you will have a CT scan which will generate a detailed image of your tumor.
  • One of our board-certified oncologists at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists will then prepare a treatment plan that will give you the best possible outcomes for your pancreatic cancer and program it into the CyberKnife System.
  • About a week after the imaging and dose planning, you will begin treatment at one of our Phoenix area offices. When you arrive for treatment, you will be asked to relax on our comfortable treatment couch, listening to your favorite music, if you like, while the CyberKnife’s robotic arm moves around you delivering high doses of radiation from multiple angles and tracking the tumor’s subtle movements to maximize precision and accuracy. No anesthesia is required for radiation treatments.
  • The CyberKnife will deliver high doses of pain-free radiation with extreme precision and without any stabilizing, uncomfortable hardware or frames.
  • Unlike traditional radiation treatment types which can last every day for weeks, CyberKnife treatment is completed in one to five sessions, one short treatment per day, within one week.
  • Once your treatment is complete each day, you are free to leave and resume your daily activities and tasks as you normally would.
  • Follow-up appointments will then be arranged to make sure that the radiation has produced the desired effect in eliminating cancer cells.

Find Out More About Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in Phoenix

Don’t wait to find out all of your options for pancreatic cancer treatment. Call one of our board-certified oncologists today and let us tell you how the CyberKnife system can be used to treat your pancreatic tumor. Reach out to any of our Phoenix and Scottsdale area locations or use our online appointment form to make your first appointment. Our friendly, professional staff is looking forward to caring for you and helping you through this difficult time. Call today.

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