News & Events

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.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day: A Former Patient’s Story

October 7 is International 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.

Sometimes described as the most excruciating pain a person can experience, trigeminal neuralgia is a debilitating facial nerve disorder. It 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 frequently treats TN patients with stereotactic radiosurgery. Watch the video below to hear from former patient Willie Borroughs about her experience with TN and undergoing CyberKnife treatment to relieve her pain.

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.

When Cancer Spreads to the Lungs: How Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Can Help

CCK_9-29Cancer can spread, or metastasize, in several ways including through the lymph system, through the blood or through tissue. When primary cancer develops in an area of the body and spreads to another organ, it is called metastatic cancer.

Cancers that commonly metastasize to the lungs include breast cancer, prostate cancer and kidney cancer, among others. If the primary cancer metastasizes to the lungs, stereotactic body radiation therapy with the CyberKnife® can be a treatment option for some patients.

Patients and their physicians may choose CyberKnife treatment for lung metastases due to fewer side effects, shorter treatment times and because either the patient is not a candidate for surgery or chooses not to have an invasive procedure for their cancer treatment.

CyberKnife technology provides treatment of lung tumors and metastatic lesions while carrying a low risk of side effects. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, investigate all options available before seeking treatment. Contact us to learn more about how our center treats lung cancer.

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.

Video: Prostate Cancer Patient Testimonial

Hearing the stories and experiences of other patients who have been through cancer treatment can be a source of comfort and support for those dealing with the disease.

Columbus CyberKnife treats many different types of cancer. One of the diseases we treat most frequently is prostate cancer. Check out the video below to learn more about CyberKnife treatment and hear from prostate cancer patient, Donald C., who is seen with our CyberKnife machine during the video.

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.

Comparing Cancer Treatments: CyberKnife vs. Proton Therapy

Patients seeking an advanced treatment option for a cancer diagnosis may compare CyberKnife® and proton therapy. While both are known for their precision and minimal side effects, each targets tumors differently.

CyberKnife is an advanced technology that performs stereotactic body radiation therapy. During treatment, high doses of radiation are delivered to tumors with sub-millimeter precision, minimizing radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue. Proton therapy has the ability to minimize damage to healthy tissue through the use of particle therapy. During proton therapy, doctors determine the precise point in a patient’s body where the proton releases the majority of energy, maximizing exposure to the treatment area.

The table below demonstrates additional ways the treatment types differ:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 9.33.34 AM

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.

Clinical Study: Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases

CCK_9-8Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) can be an effective treatment for brain metastases, which are tumors that develop in the brain from cancer cells that have spread from another area in the body.

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle released data that indicated a potential for improved survival rates for patients with brain metastases who receive stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). The study, which compared SRS to whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in 413 patients who were diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and with fewer than four brain metastases found that those treated with SRS had an overall survival of nine months compared to 3.9 months for patients treated with WBRT. These findings suggest that improved survival rates could be among the benefits that SRS offers to patients diagnosed with the disease.

Contact us to learn more about stereotactic radiosurgery for primary and metastatic brain tumors. We treat brain tumors using CyberKnife® technology, which delivers pinpoint high-dose radiation to tumors in five or fewer outpatient treatments.

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.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

CCK_9-1More than 8,600 men in Ohio will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and support for the fight against the disease.

Thanks to advancements in research and treatment methods, men diagnosed with prostate cancer have several options and resources available to them to learn more about the disease and the best way to treat it for their individual diagnosis. The Prostate Cancer Foundation and ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer are two organizations providing support and education for fighting the disease.

We encourage men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and their loved ones to learn about treatment options available. You can learn more about treatment methods for prostate cancer here.

Our clinical team has treated more than 1,000 patients, many of whom had prostate cancer. Contact Columbus CyberKnife if interested in learning about CyberKnife® stereotactic body radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

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.