In honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Reno CyberKnife is working to raise awareness of one of its most frequently treated diseases. The center has treated nearly 40 lung cancer patients this year with its advanced cancer treatment technology.
Reno CyberKnife co-medical director Dr. Katie Legarza offers the following tips to maintain lung health and support the fight against lung cancer.
- Know the signs and symptoms. Understanding risk factors and potential symptoms is crucial in detecting lung cancer early. It is never too early to discuss risk factors with a doctor and learn about lung cancer.
- Get screened. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released a recommendation on CT lung cancer screenings for long-term smokers. Though pending finalization, the recommendation applies to current and heavy smokers between ages 55 and 79. The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications. To read more about the recommendation, view the draft for public comment.
- Compare treatment options. The best treatment option for each patient depends on a variety of factors including the size and stage of a tumor and a patient’s medical history and lifestyle. Understanding the details of each treatment option can help determine the appropriate course of treatment sooner.
Reno CyberKnife treats patients with SBRT using CyberKnife® technology. During treatment, precisely focused radiation beams are delivered to a tumor with sub-millimeter accuracy. The machine is able to track tumors during treatment and compensate for patient movement, like breathing, meaning radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue is minimized.
CyberKnife treatment is completed in five or fewer sessions and requires no incision or sedation. Patients typically experience few to no side effects and can return to their daily routines immediately following treatment.
“CyberKnife is considered a treatment option for patients unwilling or unable to undergo surgery or endure the harsh side effects of conventional radiation therapy, but early detection is crucial in determining the most effective lung cancer treatment,” Dr. Legarza said.