When researching types of radiation treatments for prostate cancer, keep this in mind, not all radiation treatments are the same.
The experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami, a state-of-the-art radiation treatment center in South Florida, want you to know there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to radiation for prostate cancer.
We believe stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), the type of radiation we use to treat prostate cancer, has some distinct advantages.
But before we go into detail about CyberKnife Miami and SBRT, we want to educate you on radiation in general for prostate cancer.
Radiation: A Powerful Prostate Cancer-Fighting Tool
Radiation for prostate cancer has a proven track record of safety and an excellent cure rate. It can be used for early-stage cancers when the cure rates are as high as 98% — the same as those with surgery.
Radiation can also be used for cancers that have metastasized outside the prostate, or if the cancer recurs. Finally, it is used for advanced stages of prostate cancer too. Typically, radiation falls into three categories according to the American Cancer Society.
Internal Radiation: Doctors place small radioactive pellets or seeds into the prostate to destroy the cancer. This is used for men with early-stage, slow-growing cancers. It can also be combined with external radiation for men with a greater risk of the cancer spreading.
External Beam Radiation Therapy: Radiation is focused on the prostate gland from outside the body. There are several types of external radiation, including CyberKnife.
Radiopharmceuticals: These are medications containing radiation that are injected into the body.
Types of External Beam Radiation
Within the category of external beam radiation – which includes CyberKnife – there are different types. And we want you to understand the basic differences between a few treatment options.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy or IMRT uses CT scans to create a 3D image of the prostate before treatment. This helps determine the amount of radiation needed to kill the tumor. Treatment is typically five days a week for eight to nine weeks.
Proton Beam Radiation Therapy uses energy from positively charged particles or protons – not x-rays — to kill the cancer. Proton therapy reportedly causes fewer side effects than traditional radiation since doctors have control over the proton beams. But according to the Mayo Clinic few studies have compared proton radiation to x-ray radiation when it comes to prolonging lives. Also, this treatment is not as widely available as other treatments. Treatments last 15 to 20 minutes and are done five days a week for about eight weeks.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy or SBRT uses image-guided technology to deliver high-doses of radiation directly to the prostate tumor. That is what we use at CyberKnife Miami. Treatment is completed in five treatment days (usually given every other day) – not weeks as with other forms of radiation.
The CyberKnife Advantage
There are other benefits of CyberKnife including lower toxicity than with other forms of radiation for prostate cancer.
“CyberKnife has few side effects. Its pinpoint radiation beams hit only the prostate, so we can give a much higher dose with a lot fewer treatments, leaving healthy surrounding tissue unharmed. There’s over 20 years of published studies to support it,” says Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.
CyberKnife kills prostate cancer while reducing the risk of side effects of traditional treatments because of its pinpoint accuracy. The radiation from CyberKnife focuses solely on the prostate without harming nearby vital structures. There is a reduced risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. And sexual function remains the same for most patients after treatment.
According to the maker of CyberKnife other benefits include:
- Excellent long-term cancer control
- Patients continue normal activities during treatment.
- There is up to a 98-percent cure rate for prostate cancer.
Side effects of CyberKnife include tiredness, urinary frequency, and rectal irritation. Over the counter medication can help reduce these, and they tend to go away within a few days or weeks.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Miami
At CyberKnife Center of Miami, we treat prostate cancer patients from around the country, the world and right here in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties. Our staff is available to answer any of your questions. If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us now at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information.