Patient Guide to CyberKnife® Treatment


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Illinois CyberKnife treats patients with a nonsurgical method called stereotactic radiosurgery. Learn more about  the treatment process and call (847) 723-0100 to find out if CyberKnife® treatment is right for you.

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Patient Guide to CyberKnife® Treatment

  1. 1. Knowledge Is Power. KnowYour Options. Patient Guide to CyberKnife® Treatment Created by Illinois Cyberknife at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  2. 2. The CyberKnife® treats patients with a procedure called stereotactic radiosurgery, a noninvasive method of treating tumors with high-dose radiation precisely aimed from different angles. It is the world’s only robotic radiosurgery system, comprised of a compact linear accelerator – a machine that generates a radiation beam – attached to a highly maneuverable robotic arm.While the name may conjure images of knives and scalpels, CyberKnife treatment does not require surgery. Treatment is painless and noninvasive, so there’s no cutting or anesthesia required. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068 CyberKnifeTreatment: Overview
  3. 3. CyberKnife destroys cancerous and benign tumors with high-dose, highly accurate radiation beams while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.This pinpoint accuracy allows our physicians to treat difficult-to-reach tumors that may have been impossible to treat in the past. By delivering high-dose radiation from precise angles, CyberKnife also significantly reduces treatment time for the patient.With CyberKnife, the duration of treatment is reduced to one to five treatments over a course of one to two weeks, depending on the size, location and type of tumor. In contrast, traditional radiation therapy is typically delivered for five days a week over a period of six to eight weeks. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068 CyberKnifeTreatment: Overview
  4. 4. Most patients go home right after CyberKnife treatment and immediately resume normal activities.There may be side effects, such as fatigue, but these are usually minor and temporary. CyberKnifeTreatment: Overview (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  5. 5. CyberKnifeTreatment: Quick Links Why Choose CyberKnife? click me How Does CyberKnife Work? click me Treatment Comparisons click me (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  6. 6. BeforeTreatment Call Illinois CyberKnife to begin the process of determining whether you’re a candidate for CyberKnife treatment. Based on the initial conversation, we’ll schedule a personal consultation within the following two to four days.You’ll meet with a member of our physician team, and a decision will be made whether CyberKnife treatment is right for you. Listed below are some procedures that may be performed prior to your CyberKnife treatment. Every treatment plan is different, and not all of these initial steps are necessary for every patient. The procedures required as part of your individualized treatment plan, and the order in which they will occur, will be explained during your consultation visit. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  7. 7. BeforeTreatment CT Simulation A CT scan is needed prior to beginning CyberKnife treatment. Even if you recently had a CT scan as part of your diagnosis, a new one will be needed in order for the radiation oncologist and physicist to develop your customized treatment plan. Some patients may need a soft mesh mask or body cradle molded from a lightweight material that helps in the CyberKnife treatment process.The fitting is painless and is completed as part of the CT scan process. MR Imaging Sometimes special imaging procedures, such as an MRI, are needed in addition to the CT Scan.Your radiation oncologist will write specific directions on areas of your body that need to be imaged.The radiation oncologist also determines whether this procedure requires contrast material, a special dye put in your body that helps the radiologist locate the treatment area on your radiology films. Contrast material is available in IV and oral forms. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  8. 8. BeforeTreatment Laboratory Studies The MRI procedure may require contrast material. If you need an MRI with contrast, we need to determine whether your kidneys can flush the dye out of your body.Your physician will order what’s known as a “BUN” and a creatinine blood test.The test results determine whether your kidneys can handle the dye on their own or if you need IV fluids to help flush out the dye. Tissue Markers Depending on your individual case, you may need small tissue markers known as fiducials implanted in or near the tumor site. Fiducials help the CyberKnife system precisely target the treatment area.A physician implants the fiducials in or near the tumor site in a brief outpatient procedure.We will schedule this procedure and provide instructions for preparation. If needed, fiducial placement takes place prior to the CT scan. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  9. 9. DuringTreatment (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068 Patients are asked to wear comfortable clothing during CyberKnife treatments. Jewelry is acceptable unless it is close to the area being treated. For example, we ask that earrings and necklaces be removed prior to treatment of tumors within the head and neck. A technician will help you onto the treatment table and fit the mask or body mold if needed. Patients are observed throughout the treatment on closed-circuit television, and they can pause treatment at any time by waving or speaking to the technicians. There’s no sedation or anesthesia required. Sometimes patients take naps during their procedures. Feel free to bring an iPod® or your favorite music CDs with you on the day of your treatment, and we will play them for you during the procedure. While the CyberKnife’s advanced tracking system accounts for movements like breathing, you’re asked to lie still during treatment.The system periodically takes X-ray images and compares them to the CT scan data to make sure the radiation beam is locked on the tumor.Treatment procedures take 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the complexity of your tumor.
  10. 10. AfterTreatment Recovery from a CyberKnife procedure is often immediate, given both the low risk of complications and the lack of damage to healthy tissue. In most cases, you will be able to return to your normal activities immediately following the procedure. After completing your CyberKnife treatment, we’ll need to see you for follow-up imaging and physician consultation to monitor your tumor’s progress.You will have an individualized plan for follow up that will be coordinated by the CyberKnife nurse in collaboration with the physicians involved in your care. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  11. 11. PatientTestimonial “After hearing about Illinois CyberKnife through a support group, I was interested to learn more.When I talked to my doctor, I discovered CyberKnife was a tremendously easy option. It is noninvasive, you don’t have to be hospitalized, and you can go home immediately without any side effects. I just took my CDs and relaxed.This treatment is a miracle and showed me there is hope out there.” Oscar S. (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068
  12. 12. Our Center Illinois CyberKnife is part of the renowned Advocate Lutheran General Cancer Care Center, located in the Center for Advanced Care on the hospital’s campus. Our doctors are board-certified in radiation oncology and have several areas of specialty, including head and neck cancers, prostate cancer and lung cancer.We are dedicated to providing our patients with the latest cancer treatment technology and are proud of the experience and expertise our physicians and caring staff bring to our patients. Medical Director: Dr. Arica Hirsch CyberKnife Nurse: Linda Green, BS RN Connect With Us! (847) 723-0100 | 1700 Luther Lane, Suite 1110, Park Ridge, IL 60068