CyberKnife Radiosurgery Package: 11,500 - 17,000 US Dollars
Turkey [US JCI Accredited Hospitals - Affiliated
to John Hopkins Medicine]
There was a time when the fact that you had cancer meant, un-ending physical
and mental trauma. Today, too, cancer strikes terror in the minds of people
but there is hope, where there was little or none. The new cancer eradication
option, Cyber Knife, has made possible many a thing that was previously considered
impossible in radiology.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the CyberKnife system to treat
tumors in the head, neck and upper spine in 1999 and the treatment of tumors
anywhere in the body in 2001.
This article focuses on new tumor cures like CyberKnife treatment which can
be used to effectively treat liver, brain, prostate, head, kidney, liver, neck,
spine, lung, and pancreatic cancers. We will also discuss the pros and cons
of CyberKnife and availability of a reputed hospital in Turkey, Europe that
has been offering CyberKnife for more than three years now
What is CyberKnife?
Cyber Knife Robotic Radiosurgery System treats tumors anywhere in the body in
a non-invasive way. The CyberKnife's technological advancement allows it to
track and focus on the tumor in real time even if there is patient movement.
The CyberKnife delivers high-dose radiation with pinpoint accuracy, with minimal
damage to adjacent healthy tissues and eliminates the need for invasive surgery.
A non-surgical method of cancer treatment, CyberKnife, is made by Accuray and
has a robotic arm that directs a 300-pound linear accelerator to emit a high-energy
X-ray beam. With a diameter of less than 1 millimeter, the beam perform a pinpointed
attack on the cancerous growth without affecting the neighboring normal tissues.
For instance, the beam can attack a cancer in the bone of the spinal column
without hurting the sensitive spinal cord nearby. It is that accurate.
Where Cyber Knife scores over conventional means of radiotherapy, is the former's
ability to have pinpoint accuracy. CyberKnife is a revolutionary non-invasive
cancer eradication method as it offers a chance of treatment to even those patients
who have inoperable or surgically complex tumors. The CyberKnife has often been
used to treat otherwise untreatable tumors and malformations, most of which
are unreachable by other stereotactic systems. Due to it being a less invasive
radiosurgery it can in some cases be used for children or older patients.
CyberKnife is an advancement over, or refinement of the stereotactic radiosurgery.
(Stereotactic radiosurgery involves directs radiation to the tumor and nearby
tissues. It is often used to slow down the growth of small, deep brain tumors
that are hard to remove with surgery. Such therapy may also be used in patients
who are unable to have surgery, such as the elderly or those who are very sick)
Where conventional radiotherapy continues for a long time and has a number of
side-effects like fatigue and nausea that also last for a long time after the
treatment, CyberKnife treatment is short, performed on an outpatient basis and
lasts 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the tumor's complexity and shape. Patients
require no anesthesia.
The recovery is remarkably quick; the patient gets rapid relief from pain and
The other advantage that comes with CyberKnife treatment, is that it is flexible.
Its maneuverability is unmatched by the conventional radiation systems. The
CyberKnife system can treat tumors or lesions in the brain, spine, lung, liver,
pancreas and prostate from any angle.
Also, the CyberKnife continually tracks tumor position, detects any
tumor or patient movement and automatically corrects the treatment
delivery, without having to reposition the patient or interrupt the
Benefits of CyberKnife over Gamma Knife
The CyberKnife, though similar in concept to the Gamma Knife (both are stereotactic
radiosurgeries), has more advantages than the latter. The differences between
the two depend on how they produce the radiation, Gamma Knife produces through
decaying cobalt and CyberKnife through x-rays. Also, the radiation sources in
Gamma Knife is multiple, whereas the CyberKnfe has a linear accelerator system.
Here is a comparison between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife:
1. Gamma Knife is designed exclusively for non-invasive brain surgery,
whereas CyberKnife is not exclusive to brain surgery. CyberKnife can
treat even those lesions in parts of the body which move with
respiration. This is possible because of image guidance.
2. While the Gamma Knife treats with multiple beams simultaneously
from a 201-source cobalt unit, the CyberKnife uses a single high energy
photon beam fixed to a robot arm (single-source linear accelerator).
The CyberKnife's megavoltage x-rays are over four times more powerful
than the energy from Cobalt used in the Gamma Knife.
3. Gamma Knife is a frame-based system, whereas CyberKnife is a flexible, frameless
system. Thus, the CyberKnife allows a single-session or multi-session treatments,
as necessary. This lets you're treating physicians decide the safest and most
effective course of treatment.
4. CyberKnife does not require a head frame screwed into the skull
for immobilization, avoiding the pain, headache, nausea, and risk of
infection seen sometimes with stereotactic frames like Gamma Knife.
5. The small size of the Gamma Knife collimators may spare critical
tissues from radiation, but can create difficulty in treating lesions
larger than 3-4 cm.
Surgery versus CyberKnife Radiosurgery
CyberKnife Radiosurgery is not surgery as is generally thought. It is an excellent
alternative treatment for tumors and lesions, which cannot be accessed or removed
by conventional surgery. CyberKnife Radiosurgery destroys tumors with highly
precise beams of radiation quickly, painlessly and without downtime or hospital
stays - all advantages over conventional surgery. Also with CyberKnife Radiosurgery
there are no risks of infection or bleeding that come with open surgery.
Other benefits that come with CyberKnife RadioSurgery are
short-term treatment time in an outpatient setting with rapid recovery
and symptomatic response. The simple outpatient procedure allows you to
undergo your treatment and immediately resume normal activities.
CyberKnife can also be used to control aggressive benign tumors that
have progressed despite surgery and/or conventional radiation.
The Price of CyberKnife Cancer Treatment
Hospitals have to invest nearly $4 million in a CyberKnife system. Also
the use of CyberKnife is restricted because of certain conditions such
CyberKnife is often not recommended for use near vital organs as
it emits concentrated beams of radiation.
CyberKnife is usually recommended only when the cancer is
concentrated in an area no bigger than 6 centimeters because treating
anything larger or more spread out with the powerful beam could damage
other parts of the body.
Because of these conditions and the huge initial investment, the
market for CyberKnife treatment is not very big. CyberKnife treatment
is also not widely available - just about 80 centers across the world,
25-30 of which are in the US. Hence, CyberKnife treatment, especially
in the US, works out to be very expensive from $25,000 to $65,000.
The video below is from Accuray, the manufacturer of CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery
System. It explains the procedure in detail and features testimonies from satisfied
patients and also what doctors have to say about CyberKnife. People of various
ages and cancer conditions talk about how CyberKnife, improved their quality
Cyberknife Cancer Radiotherapy in Turkey
CyberKnife treatment in Turkey ranges from $13,000 - $16,000, which is a significantly
lesser than U.S. prices. Not to worry, the drop in cost does not mean any compromise
in quality. In fact, as the treatment is delivered through a machine, the probability
of errors is zero or negligible.
Turkey has been offering CyberKnife treatment for almost four years
now. So, that makes Turkey the most experienced CyberKnife center in
Europe, which also means that as there will be a good number of
patients who have received CyberKnife treatment, you can talk to them
about their experiences.
The other benefits of CyberKnife treatment in Turkey are that there are no waiting
lines and as there are little or no side-effects, you can also treat yourself
to a lovely vacation in multi-cultural Turkey.
Medical tourists from the U.S., U.K., Middle east, and other parts of Europe
and Asia can benefit from quality Cyberknife radiosurgery in Turkey. This is
because Turkey offers:
Modern, hygienic hospital with 5-star facilities and US Joint Commision
Internationally qualified, English-speaking surgeons and specialists.
The latest advanced medical equipment and techniques.
Medical staff, among whom, many have trained and gained experience from
Excellent patient care and a special department for international patients.
Not too far or too expensive to travel.
New Cancer Treatments & Drugs
Medical researchers come up with new drugs for the treatment of cancer every
year. The FDA does clinical trials of these new drugs and only then approves
or rejects them. To do this, the FDA must first see if the new cancer drugs
are safe, and if they are, then it must see to the task of making them available
to the public as quickly as possible.
Similar clinical trials were done for CyberKnife, too, and only then was it
approved. Hence, you can be sure you are going in for a genuine cancer treatment.
To date, more than 50,000 patients worldwide have been treated by the CyberKnife
System (source: CyberKnife FAQ). Going
abroad for CyberKnife treatment for complicated cancers like inoperable brain
tumors, provides patients much to hope for, as it increases the available options
where there were none or too few.