A non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer from the START Center for Cancer Care

FAQ

Does my insurance cover Cyberknife treatments?

Yes, Cyberknife is an indicated treatment for early prostate cancer and is covered by Medicare and other insurance companies.

Who is a candidate for this type of treatment?

Patients with low or intermediate risk prostate cancer with a prostate gland size of less than 100 cubic centimeters are ideal candidates for Cyberknife prostate therapy.

Can I have Cyberknife treatment if I've been told that I have had the maximum radiation allowance?

Yes.

How effective is it against the cancer?

It is as effective as the standard course of radiation treatment.

What are the possible side effects?

Most patients experience minimal or mild side effects from a Cyberknife treatment session. Some patients do experience mild urinary and rectal irritation but no nausea or fatigue.

Does the treatment hurt?

No, patients do not feel anything from the radiation during treatment.

How many treatments are needed?

5 treatments will accomplish the goal (1 every other day).

How long do the treatments take?

Cyberknife sessions range between 30 minutes to an hour.

What is the duration from the time I decide to have this treatment until the time I finish?

Once you have decided to have the treatment, you can expect completion in approximately one month. This includes time for consultation, preparation, treatment and follow-up.

Why do I need to have CAT scan before I can start treatment?

The Cyberknife requires that four gold fiducial markers are implanted into the prostate by the urologist, then a special CAT scan is taken with the patient in the treatment position so the radiation oncologist can develop a treatment plan.

How soon after the CAT scan can I start treatment?

Within a matter of days.

Can I drive myself to and from treatments?

Yes - it is not necessary to be medicated during treatment and Cyberknife does not result in the kind of fatigue experienced by patients undergoing routine radiation treatment. However, should you request a mild sedative to relax you should not drive until you obtain approval from your doctor.

Is this treatment experimental?

No, the FDA approved Cyberknife for treatment of a variety of organs (including prostate) in 2001. It is endorsed by Medicare and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).