Although prostate cancer is highly treatable, and curable, especially when detected early, recurrence is something many men worry about and that is understandable. No matter what treatment you chose, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or any other type, there is about a 30-to-40% chance it may come back and is usually detected during regular PSA tests or scans.

Although it is impossible to predict the recurrence of prostate cancer, certain factors may play a role. For instance: Men who have cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the pelvic region may be more likely to have a recurrence. Tumor size: In general, the larger the tumor, the greater the chance of recurrence. Other Factors: Gleason score and stage of cancer when detected.

A recurrence means it came back in the same place it originally developed. It is considered metastatic when it develops somewhere else in the body. Since recurring cancer can be more aggressive it must be treated quickly.

The Good News: Prostate cancer recurrence is often treatable and may even be curable. The survival rate remains high: 94% of patients live at least 15 years after their original diagnoses.

Finding out your cancer has returned can bring back some of the same emotions you felt after your initial diagnosis. Such is the case with Prostate Cancer Survivor Don Kearns. He was treated with CyberKnife Radiation Therapy at CyberKnife Miami the first time he was diagnosed 7-years ago, and he is undergoing CyberKnife treatment again for recurrent prostate cancer.

Don says, “Adversity breeds opportunity. And that is the way I view a second prostate cancer diagnosis, nearly seven years after the first battle. It is an opportunity to get better, to live better, work on the bucket list and help other men and their families facing this disease. For treatment #1, I wore my Jimmy Butler shirt as a reminder to me to have Jimmy’s maniacal desire to win, his no-excuses drive, dawg-like grit…and his undying belief in and respect for team.

Which is, in my case, my family led by wife & coach “Beautiful Ivonn Santana Kearns,” and dedicated doctors and therapist. I am trusting CyberKnife’s non-invasive, highly effective cutting-edge technology to slam dunk cancer because I’ve got too much to  still play for!

Listen to Don’s Personal Message on Fighting Recurring Prostate Cancer

Don’s radiation oncologist, Dr. Mark Pomper says, “CyberKnife radiation therapy is an excellent tool to treat recurrent prostate cancer or cancer of any kind. I have no doubt CyberKnife radiotherapy will work just as well for Don this time around as it did the first time. He had no side effects and was able to continue with his life during his cancer treatments with the least amount of disruption, while maintaining quality of life. He will get 5 treatments in 10 days and be able to put cancer behind him. I expect Don to live a normal life span.” 

CyberKnife is a safe radiation treatment option even for patients who have previously received radiation therapy in the same area. Whether you were originally treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy, CyberKnife technology can retreat patients with high success rates and no downtime. The CyberKnife System is a non-invasive, non-surgical, pain-free treatment option with proven results. The CyberKnife allows patients to lie comfortably on the procedure table without anesthesia while the robotic arm moves, without touching them, to treat all areas of the tumor. It is the first and only radiotherapy device with missile guidance technology and a robotic arm that can track the prostate as it moves in real-time, to continuously stay on its target, delivering radiation beams to the cancer site, killing the cells with pinpoint accuracy.

FAQ’s: How many times can you receive a CyberKnife treatment? The number of treatments varies depending on the tumor size, location, and shape, but typically only one to five daily sessions are required. The frequency of treatments depends on where the tumor is located and what type of tumor is being treated. In case of recurrence CyberKnife can be used again to treat persistent lesions.

Why is CyberKnife so successful? It destroys tumors with targeted precision and accuracy. The best part — it leaves healthy tissue unaffected.

What are the disadvantages of CyberKnife prostate? Most patients report no or few mild side effects from CyberKnife treatments. Those usually go away within a few days or weeks. Potential side effects can include: 

urinary urgency, loose stools, constipation and less often incontinence or erectile dysfunction.

Does radiation decrease cancer recurrence? Yes, it does significantly decrease the chance of the tumor coming back. While CyberKnife’s success rate for curing prostate cancer caught early is 98%, the cancer can still recur in the same area treated or outside the area. The most recent study found the recurrence rate after CyberKnife treatment is about 9-to-15%. After 10 years, the recurrence rate is even lower, about 2 percent.

At CyberKnife Miami our team of radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and physicists specialize in prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife radiation therapy. We are the most experienced CyberKnife center in South Florida. We work closely with your oncologist and urologist, creating an individualized treatment plan for all of our patients. We offer the best opportunity for successful outcomes and the highest quality of life. 

If you would like to meet with our team to discuss treatment for prostate cancer recurrence, call us at 305-279-2900 to request an appointment. No referral is required.