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Request for Information: Cyberknife

Hatshepsut's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

I'm trying to understand when Cyberknife is used to treat colon cancer.

Is it used for larger masses in the abdominal wall or only for small cancers?

Is it usually covered by insurance?


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi there:)

My experience with CyberKnife was for the Liver. They used it to clean up the outlining areas of the tumor that the RFA could not get to.

I have not heard of being used in the abdomen, but I'm 2.5 years removed, so I'm sure the technology is advancing to other areas, similar to what the DaVinci did with my lung.

Initially, I would think if CyberKnife were available for abdominal tumors, the size would not matter, so long as they could program the machine and direct the beam to the necessary areas.

CyberKnife is considered "radio surgery" and should be covered by insurance. Mine was and I paid my 25% end of those procedures. They ususally do between 3-5 treatments. Radiation oncologist consults with the surgeon and they map out the X's and O's of the procedure to be systematically programmed into the software of the device, so that it runs automatically.

You are outfitted in a vest attached to the machine that regulates the beam when you breath in and out - that way it stays on target. It rotates and covers you at angles that traditional external beam radiation does. CyberKnife is considered radiation, but it is highly concentrated and give in just a few sessions, which is better for the patient and the recovery.

If this is an option, it's a good one - and it should be covered by your insurance - it's a valid procedure.

Nice seeing you - give D my best!


biglaur's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2010

6 zaps to my liver, 3 to my lung. Lung met completely disappeared, liver met is now only a shadow of its former self. NO side effects...insurance covered it but only after a battle. Very common procedure in Asia and parts of europe, not as common in the US so some insurance companies think of it as experimental (that's the line I got anyway) Causes scary looking inflammation on a ct scan (frightened all my docs) except the radio-onc...he predicted it. Goes away after several months...I chose this procedure over surgery...so far so good. Laurie (my lesions were pretty small, relatively)

johnsfo's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

I had cyberknife to treat metastasis to the sacrum. The mass was mostly in the soft tissue adjacent to the sacrum, but also growing into the marrow at S2, S3, S4. Traditional surgery was out of the question because of the high probability of nerve damage from surgery at the spine and because the sacrum is necessary for the body's skeletal support.

I had 3 treatments, each about 1 hour long and completely painless and without any other effects that I noticed. Because the radiation is so finely focused, they were able to deliver the same dose in 3 sessions that I had previously had in 6 weeks of daily sessions with conventional radiation.

The success rate is very high in treating tumors like mine. Unfortunately for me, the cancer has continued to grow. I'm told that that is unusual. My insurance covered the cost of the treatment without any questions or difficulties.

Hope that helps.

Feel free to PM if you have any particular questions.

Best wishes!


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