Life-saving technology and getting the word out about radiosurgery

Life-saving technology and getting the word out about radiosurgery

By Erin Kieper
Program Development Manager, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

Twice last week I received phone calls from grateful family members thanking us for taking care of their loved ones when treatment options were dwindling. One patient is now 4 years past his CyberKnife treatment for inoperable lung cancer and is going strong and living life to the fullest. The other patient was recently treated and is feeling great and planning a European vacation. Both families are extremely appreciative for the care they received but both voiced frustration that they stumbled upon this treatment option by chance and that we need to do a better job of publicizing the radiosurgery modalities. As the person receiving these calls, I am thrilled to hear how our center has positively impacted so many lives but struggle with how to get the word out to those who may benefit from radiosurgery in the future. So with our patients’ stories fresh in my mind, here is an introduction to radiosurgery.

Stereotactic radiosurgery is targeted radiation therapy delivered to nearly any body part with precision while utilizing real time image guidance. The names CyberKnife and Gamma Knife imply the use of scalpels and operating rooms but these procedures take place in an outpatient setting over the course of a 1-5 treatment sessions and are non-invasive. The Gamma Knife is dedicated to conditions in the head/brain while the CyberKnife has the flexibility to treat throughout the entire body. These therapies are often used in combination with surgery or conventional radiation but many times can be used alone.  To learn more about radiosurgery, click here for more information from the Swedish Radiosurgery Center or contact us at 206-320-7187 for additional information.

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