Have you heard about the cyberknife? The name certainly cauht my attention but the really exciting thing for me is that the patients use only music to relax before the treatment, i.e. no anesthesia! The following article came from the Star-Telegram.com.
“The sharpest knives don’t even cut,” proclaims a billboard near downtown Fort Worth promoting CyberKnife, a high-tech device that delivers radiation therapy with sub-millimeter precision. Its robotic tracking system keeps a targeted tumor in its crosshair focus while zapping the tumor with 150 to 300 high-energy X-ray beams.
We asked Dr. Peter LaNasa, medical director of the Harris Methodist CyberKnife Center in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth, to tell us more:
Is it actually a knife? No, it is called the CyberKnife because it can be used to treat tumors with surgical precision, including tumors considered “inoperable” because of their location or because the patient can’t tolerate traditional surgery — for example, a lung cancer patient with severe emphysema.
What kinds of cancer is it used for? The CyberKnife can be used for brain, spine, head and neck, lung, liver, pancreas, prostate, bone and other localized tumors. It is not used for tumors that cannot be tracked precisely (tongue) or tumors in organs particularly sensitive to radiosurgery (bowel).
Is there any discomfort? No. Patients lie quietly on an open table and listen to music for 45 to 60 minutes. No anesthesia is used. All treatments are performed as outpatient, and Medicare and most insurance plans cover the costs.
Are there other CyberKnife centers in this area? There are two in Dallas, one in Tyler, one here, one in Austin and one in San Antonio, but not another going west until you get to Arizona.
None in Louisville, KY, I’m assuming!