News & Events

When Cancer Comes Back: How CyberKnife Can Help

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.34.40 AMWhen faced with a cancer recurrence, patients may experience many of the same feelings they went through upon learning of their initial diagnosis. Though feelings of shock and distress are normal, patients can feel hopeful that there are now more ways to target the recurrent cancer while reducing treatment times and minimizing side effects.

For patients with recurrent cancer, choosing a treatment option that will target an area previously treated with radiation while having a low impact on quality of life can be a difficult decision.

At Columbus CyberKnife, our retreatment approach involves multidisciplinary collaboration between doctors and specialists to determine optimal treatment options. A patient’s diagnosis, disease pattern and medical history are evaluated to help decide the best plan for retreatment specific to the patient’s individual needs.

Columbus CyberKnife uses CyberKnife® technology to treat primary and secondary tumors with stereotactic radiosurgery, an advanced radiation therapy technique that does not require anesthesia, incisions or a prolonged recovery period. Treatment is completed within five outpatient sessions, and patients typically return to their routines immediately following treatment.

Contact our center at (614) 898-8300 to find out if CyberKnife can be integrated into your treatment plan.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Screening for Prostate Cancer: The Pros and Cons of PSA Testing

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 11.47.19 AMFor men 50 years and older, the decision to undergo prostate cancer screening can often be a difficult decision due to the varying pros and cons associated with testing. Although the prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA test, is currently the main screening method used to detect prostate cancer, it may not be right for everyone.

One of the many reasons the screening decision is so tricky is because unlike other cancers, prostate cancer is so slow growing that some men who have it will never be affected or harmed by it.

Due to the risk of urinary problems and erectile dysfunction associated with various treatment options for the disease, men who decide to be screened for prostate cancer could sustain permanent impairments from treating a cancer they never would have known they had.

Although the results of a large, long-term study did not support widespread screening for prostate cancer due to concerns of over diagnosis, it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about all the pros and cons that accompany PSA testing to determine if screening is right for you and your lifestyle.

When discussing screenings with your doctor, be sure to ask all questions you have about the screening process and treating prostate cancer while weighing factors such as your health, age and family history in the decision-making process.

Columbus CyberKnife treats prostate cancer with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) using CyberKnife® technology, an advanced radiation approach that can be completed in five or fewer treatments. For more information on CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer, click here.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Top 5 Benefits of CyberKnife Treatment

Columbus CyberKnife offers a specialized form of radiation therapy called stereotactic body radiation therapy to treat various types of malignant and benign tumors throughout the head, neck and body. This treatment is delivered with advanced CyberKnife® technology, a state-of-the-art system that treats tumors with high-dose radiation precisely targeted to the tumor.

For patients seeking a treatment option with a low impact on quality of life, treatment with CyberKnife offers many benefits. The infographic below highlights five of the top benefits.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 12.02.43 PM

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

20th Anniversary of CyberKnife Technology

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.41.51 PMColumbus CyberKnife is proud to commemorate the 20th anniversary of CyberKnife® technology this year. Developed in 1994 at Stanford by Dr. John Adler, the concept was conceived with the goal of treating tumors throughout the body with radiosurgery, a treatment that at the time was restricted to head and neck tumors.

Key CyberKnife milestones:

  • The prototype system developed by Dr. Adler was used from 1994 to 2001 at Stanford.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the CyberKnife for treatment of tumors in the head and neck in 1999.
  • In 2001, the FDA approved the technology for the treatment of tumors throughout the body.

Over the last 20 years, CyberKnife has been adopted internationally for the treatment of primary and metastatic tumors, including those in the lungs, brain, spine, liver, kidney and prostate.

CyberKnife manufacturer, Accuray, reports that the system has been used in 40 countries to treat more than half a million patients to date. Over the last two decades, CyberKnife has evolved as a treatment method with expanded applications for different diseases. The growth and availability of long-term clinical research results has further demonstrated the treatment’s efficacy and has led to the publication of updated treatment guidelines and policies from a host of health care organizations.

To learn more about Columbus CyberKnife and the conditions we treat, contact us.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Spotlight on Metastatic Cancer

November is National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a time to quit smoking, educate loved ones and raise awareness for the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women.

More than 9,700 Ohio residents will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014, according to the American Cancer Society. If lung cancer is discovered at a later stage, it may have metastasized, or spread, to another area of the body.

Metastatic cancer occurs when cancerous cells spread from a primary cancer site to other parts of the body and is associated with late stage cancer. For those with advanced lung cancer, it can be difficult to determine the best option for treating metastatic tumors. According to the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer most commonly spreads to the adrenal glands, bone, brain, liver or other lung.

Columbus CyberKnife treats patients with metastatic lung cancer with stereotactic body radiation therapy. Our center uses CyberKnife® to non-surgically treat tumors and metastatic lesions, which can be particularly beneficial for patients receiving additional treatment concurrently. Stereotactic body radiation therapy can be paired with other treatment methods such as chemotherapy.

For more information on metastatic lung cancer, contact our center at (614) 898-8300.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Prostate Cancer: The Movember Movement

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.59.10 AMNovember marks the annual Movember movement. With more than 4 million participants worldwide, the campaign aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Each year men across the globe vow not to shave for 30 days while raising funds for men’s health issues including mental health and prostate cancer.

At Columbus CyberKnife, our team supports the cause by continuing the conversation on how men can prevent, monitor and treat prostate cancer. Our center treats prostate cancer with CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy. The treatment has been endorsed by leading clinical organizations including the American Society of Radiation Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

To learn more about how you can participate in Movember, click here. For more information about CyberKnife treatment for prostate cancer, contact us.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Considerations When Choosing a Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 10.51.20 AMAfter receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, it’s common for patients to take action immediately. Fortunately, for many prostate cancer patients, the disease is slow growing and allows for more time to make an informed treatment decision.

When discussing options with your doctor an important factor is the overall effectiveness of the treatment method in treating the disease. Additional factors to consider include:

  • Duration of treatment: Some treatment options may require significant recovery times or treatment may be spread over many weeks, which can interrupt work, or family schedules, making it more difficult to follow normal routines.
  • Side effects: Common side effects for some prostate cancer treatments include urinary dysfunction, erectile dysfunction or loss of fertility. Weigh the benefits of the treatment against its potential side effects and how they may affect you in the long term.
  • Existing health conditions: If you have existing health conditions like emphysema or high blood pressure, you may be ineligible for certain treatment options because your condition could be worsened by treatment.
  • Your age and expected life span: Older men with prostate cancer can sometimes experience more negative than positive effects due to treatment. A study by the University of California- Los Angeles showed that exposing older men to aggressive treatment could cause more debilitating side effects without extending their lifespans.

At Columbus CyberKnife, our physicians work with you to determine which treatment may be best for your specific case. Our center treats patients with a noninvasive, outpatient treatment called stereotactic body radiation therapy. Treatments for prostate cancer take about 30-90 minutes and are completed in five or fewer sessions. For additional information on prostate cancer and support resources, visit the Zero-The End of Prostate Cancer website.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

A Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Why Speaking to a Radiation Oncologist is Important

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.35.16 AMWhen a prostate cancer diagnosis is suspected, patients typically see a general physician and a urologist who then recommends potential treatment options based on a number of factors, including the stage of the cancer.

Before choosing a treatment, radiation oncologists also play an important role in helping to inform and determine treatment options. Radiation oncologists are specially trained to treat cancer with radiation therapy, including a special form of treatment called stereotactic body radiation therapy, which is considered a first-line treatment option for prostate cancer. Speaking to a radiation oncologist is an important step in securing perspectives from various specialties to assist in making an informed treatment decision.

At Columbus CyberKnife, physicians work together with doctors of multiple specialties to determine the best treatment plan. Patients can consult with urologists, surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists to understand the full scope of their diagnosis and the types of treatment options available.

For more information or to speak with one of our radiation oncologists, contact us at (614) 898-8300.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Spotlight on Metastatic Cancer

CCK_10-13October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness for the second-most diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S.

When breast cancer is discovered after it starts causing symptoms, the cancer is likely to have advanced and spread beyond the confines of the breast. The most common sites for metastasis, or spread, of primary breast cancer are the brain, lungs and bones.

When primary breast cancer has spread, it is considered metastatic breast cancer. If the primary cancer metastasizes to another part of the body, stereotactic radiosurgery with CyberKnife® can be a treatment option for women who are candidates.

Women may choose CyberKnife treatment for lung or brain metastases due to fewer side effects, shorter treatment times and to avoid additional invasive cancer treatment. CyberKnife treatment for brain metastases does not involve surgery or sedation and is complete in fewer than five outpatient procedures.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, contact our center to find out if CyberKnife may be an option for your treatment plan.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.

High Rate of Misdiagnoses for Lesser Known ‘Suicide Disease’ Spotlights Need for Second Opinion

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 11.32.28 AMTrigeminal neuralgia, often referred to as the “suicide disease,” is an excruciating facial nerve disorder many have never heard of. But for the 12 out of every 100,000 people per year affected by it, the condition can make living a normal life agonizing and unbearable.

October 7 is recognized as Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day, a time to highlight this debilitating condition and encourage those who experience symptoms to seek an expert opinion, as many cases of TN are frequently misdiagnosed.

TN can occur when a blood vessel compresses the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head. The condition is characterized by episodes of intense electroshock-like, stabbing or burning sensations in the face that can be triggered by the slightest touch or even common actions like chewing or talking.

Columbus CyberKnife medical director Dr. Douglas Widman notes the importance of seeking a second opinion from a neurology expert familiar with the condition to diagnose and determine an appropriate treatment option for the symptoms.

“A number of our patients come to us for help after undergoing several other treatments or consultations with little success at reducing or eliminating their pain,” said Dr. Widman. “Columbus CyberKnife’s multidisciplinary approach allows us to evaluate each patient’s symptoms and determine an individualized treatment plan to provide symptom relief.”

Due to its rarity, a high number of TN cases are misdiagnosed as a dental problem. Those suffering from TN will often seek help from numerous health care professionals before a final diagnosis is made, sometimes undergoing unnecessary procedures such as root canals in search of the problem.

In addition to medication, common treatment options include surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery, a method of treatment used to treat benign and malignant tumors throughout the body. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a noninvasive treatment that uses targeted, high-dose radiation to interrupt pain-causing fibers along the trigeminal nerve. The treatment is complete within one treatment session, providing immediate pain relief for some patients. Columbus CyberKnife uses a multidisciplinary approach that involves collaboration among physicians from different specialties to diagnose and treat typical and atypical cases of TN.

“Advancements made in radiosurgery give patients suffering from this excruciating condition the ability to regain control of their lives,” said Dr. Widman. “The CyberKnife® allows us to treat trigeminal neuralgia with unmatched precision and virtually no side effects, allowing patients to return to their normal routines immediately following treatment. For some patients, pain can be completely eliminated.”

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.