As the Coronavirus spreads across the globe, many patients have had to make an agonizing decision: To continue commuting to their oncologist’s office to receive necessary and lifesaving treatment, or stay home and avoid contracting the virus that has proven to be deadly for immunocompromised people. While some people may only have to drive a few minutes to receive their treatment, others have to travel across the city or state borders. A weakened immune system from cancer treatment could slow or inhibit a person’s natural immune response if they contracted the virus. On the other hand, forgoing cancer treatments could undo years of treatment and unleash cancer on the body. Now, doctors and patients are taking serious steps in an attempt to cope with the crisis and still treat prostate cancer patients.
How Are Doctors and Patients Combating COVID-19 and Cancer?
Across the U.S., oncologists have had to decide whether or not to delay some surgeries or reduce treatment sessions. Physicians must carefully weigh the pros and cons and maintain contact with their patients. Some decisions for postponing surgeries are clear-cut. For some cancers that have high survival rates such as thyroid or early-stage prostate cancer can wait. But others, such as pancreatic cancer are much more deadly. Treatment for patients with diseases such as aggressive leukemia and lymphoma can’t be postponed. While the goal is to reduce patients’ exposure and risk of infection, the potential progression of cancer requires a watchful eye. Some patients are prescribed cancer-fighting pills to be taken at home. These are substitutes for IV therapies administered at hospitals and clinics. Others are told that there will be a significant reduction in the number of treatment sessions they receive, going from as much as five sessions a week to just one.
How You Can Safely Treat Your Prostate Cancer
Traditional radiation therapy for prostate cancer would normally require about 40 rounds over 12 weeks. However, with the missile-guided technology of CyberKnife, you can receive full treatment in as little as 5 treatments. Board Certified Radiation Oncologist, Medical and Executive Director of the CyberKnife Center of Miami, Dr. Mark Pomper remarked, “Coronavirus is affecting the entire world, but is significantly hard on the people who are already battling for their life. The most difficult decision for many patients is if they want to risk exposure by coming into a medical office. Cancer doesn’t wait for anyone; and it’s difficult for me, as a healthcare provider, to see some patients defer from their much-needed treatment.” CyberKnife is a stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) that delivers high-dose radiation directly to the tumor. This efficient treatment requires fewer sessions, and therefore reduces the risk of exposure for patients. CyberKnife also has little to no side effects and requires no hospital time.
Cancer patients are more vulnerable to contracting and dying from Coronavirus because of their compromised immune systems due to treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. Patients treated with CyberKnife can be confident that they’re receiving proficient and speedy treatment, no healing time required. To learn more about CyberKnife treatment services for prostate cancer or to schedule an appointment, visit our website at www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com or call (305) 279-2900.