National Brain Tumor Awareness Month

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.  Driven by advancement in research, surgical techniques, genetic discoveries, and much more, it has never been a better time to take action on brain tumors.

The National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), an organization whose mission is to unrelentingly invest in, mobilize, and unite our community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for brain tumor patients and care partners, estimates that 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor and over 87,000 more will be diagnosed in 2020.

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or central spine that can disrupt proper brain function.  Doctors refer to a tumor based on where the tumor cells originated, and whether they are cancerous (malignant) or not (benign).  Brain tumors can be deadly, significantly impact the quality of life, and change everything for a patient and their loved ones.  They do not discriminate, inflicting men, women, and children of all races and ethnicities.

Below are some quick Brain Tumor Facts from the NBTS:

– Of the estimated 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor:

69.8% of tumors are benign

30.2% of tumors are malignant

– Of the estimated 87,240 people that will receive a primary brain tumor diagnosis in 2020:

61,430 will be benign

25,800 will be malignant

– There are more than 130 different types of brain tumors, many with their own multitude of subtypes.

– The most prevalent brain tumor types in adults are Meningiomas, which make up 53.3% of all non-malignant tumors, and Glioblastomas, which make up 48.3% of all malignant tumors.

At Columbus CyberKnife, we treat brain tumors with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.  CyberKnife painlessly delivers precise beams of high-dose radiation to brain tumors and lesions, without incisions, hospitalization, or long recovery time.  CyberKnife is a non-invasive alternative to brain cancer surgery and can be used for brain tumors that are considered inoperable because of their location in the head, for those patients who cannot undergo brain cancer surgery due to their poor medical condition, or who refuse surgery.

More than any other cancer, brain tumors can have lasting and life-altering physical, cognitive, and psychological impacts on a patient’s life.  The physicians and clinical teams at Columbus CyberKnife are here to help.  For more information about brain tumors and how we treat them with CyberKnife technology, please contact us today.

Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many cancer patients are having to make the difficult decision to continue with their current cancer regimen or delay treatments.  Cancer patients and physicians must carefully weigh the potential benefit of routine cancer care versus the risk of COVID-19.

To help ease these decisions, several peer-reviewed, non-profit cancer care organizations like the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) have recognized the rapidly changing oncology information relating to COVID-19 and have established forums for sharing best practices and specific institutional responses, as well as continue to release updated clinical guidelines in regards to cancer treatment during COVID-19.

This news is especially helpful for prostate patients, as the NCCN recommends that prostate patients receiving radiation therapy for their cancer to continue with treatment, but the shortest (5 to 7 fractions) safe external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) regimen should be used.  This guideline is also supported by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the premier radiation oncology society in the world consisting of more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies.  ASTRO’s current guidelines state that hypofractionation has been demonstrated to be equally effective as standard conventional courses of radiation therapy in specific clinical situations, including prostate cancer.

Using hypofractionation, or hypofractionated radiation therapy, higher doses of radiation are delivered per treatment, so patients can complete their course of radiation therapy much faster than conventional treatment.  Hypofractionation allows larger-dose radiation fractions to be delivered in fewer sessions, with the total dose completed in 5 weeks or less vs up to 9 weeks with conventional radiation dose-fractionation schedules.  Ultrahypofractionation (stereotactic body radiation therapy [SBRT] or stereotactic ablative radiotherapy [SABR]) can involve 5 radiation sessions.

At Columbus CyberKnife, hypofractionation is delivered on the CyberKnife, a painless, nonsurgical prostate cancer treatment technology in which high-dose radiation is delivered to the tumor from a linear accelerator mounted on a highly maneuverable robotic arm.  Hundreds of different angles enable the radiation to be contoured to the shape of the prostate, resulting in treatment aimed directly to the prostate gland, avoiding nearby critical anatomy.  It can shave weeks off the traditional treatment length with the possibility of fewer short term side effects and a better quality of life.

Our highest priority is to always keep our patients and staff as safe as possible, while not wavering on our commitment to providing patients with safe, high-quality, and comprehensive cancer treatment services.  We understand the concerns you may have during this time of uncertainty, but please know that our physicians and staff are here for you and that hypofractionated radiation therapy is an excellent treatment option for prostate cancer.

To learn more about how Columbus CyberKnife treats prostate cancer with CyberKnife technology, please click here.  To contact Columbus CyberKnife with any questions, or to get a second opinion, please click here.