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A 75-year-old male asked:

Why does a dr say cyberknife is not an option but beam radiation is an option?

5 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kristi Kohl
Family Medicine 22 years experience
Studies: In general, certain therapies are recommended for certain groups of patients based on studies that have been done showing that treatment is effective in that group. Sometimes, groups of people don't benefit from certain treatments and may even be harmed. You should ask your doctor why those specific recommendations were made.
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Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Radiation Oncology 35 years experience
Different indication: Cyberknife is radiosurgery and external radiation is daily fractionated radiation treatment. Each disease and stage of cancer has different recommendations. However is the doctor who is saying this have the option of cyberknife available. There are other methods not called cyberknife buy very capable radiosurgery brands. Get a second opinion if in doubt.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Kris Gast
Radiation Oncology 33 years experience
Pinpoint vs beam: Cyberknife is a specialized form of external radiation. It is usually used for cancers that are small and very localized. The treatments are given over just a few days which means the dose of radiation for each day is quite high. Essentially the tumor is being burned out. External beam has a wider margin of treatment. It covers a greater directed area and is given at less dose daily.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Carl Van Wey
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
Cyberknife: Cyberknife is a brand of machine that delivers stereotactic radiosurgery. Many other machines do the same thing, and is a highly focused intense radiation, usually to a small tumor given in 1-5 treatments. External beam radiation takes several weeks and has a wider range of uses and indications. Each has it place. See nccn.Org for current cancer treatment guidelines.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Ernest Hymel
Radiation Oncology 23 years experience
Cyberknife: Cyberknife is one of a few ways to deliver stereotactic treatment, which delivers very high doses of radiation to a very small, well-defined area. There are many reasons why a radiation oncologist may choose to use stereotactic treatment; for example, when a tumor is known or suspected to involve multiple areas or the tumor is not well-defined, then conventional radiation is a better option.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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