Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
SBRT is a radiation therapy used to cure tumors very precisely where high energy beams are targeted to tumor through different direction from the body. The procedure is somewhat similar to CNS (Central Nervous System), only it deals with cancer outside the CNS. SBRT is performed in five sessions known as fraction and it was primarily used to treat brain tumors with the help of Gamma knife.
The therapy has been very effective in recent times to treat early stage of lung cancer where other measures such as operation or distinct radiation therapies are ineffective. Patients with isolated lung cancer and heart defects can certainly benefit from SBRT as it helps them to control the development of cancer and reduce the risk by 90% where other therapies has only 50% chance of controlling it. It is considered as a great achievement in medical history. The therapy can be used to treat a solitary lung cancer that ranges from 5 to 7 cm.
SBRT is one of the best treatment to diagnose tumor by targeting its precise location with the help of image scan of the affected area scrupulously as it can change its course while the patient breathe. In a few cases, an implant known as fiducials are utilized for accuracy of the therapy on the tumor.
The Oncologis plans and perform the high dose radiation therapy depending on the health condition of the patient. All five fractions take roughly an hour and the whole treatment takes 10 days to complete. The best thing about this therapy is the patient doesn’t feel any pain during the treatment and there are usually no side effects as well. The rays are precisely targeted to the tumor assisted by fiducials to kill the cancer cells entirely
SBRT is ideal for those patients who have developed a lung cancer that is 5 cm or less and where surgery is considered risky due to the complicated placement of the tumor. Patients with bigger tumor, which is closer to heart, SBRT can be performed with less radiation and radio frequency ablation to reduce the risk of breathing abnormalities. It is also quite effective with pancreatic tumors, pelvic tumors, prostate cancer, and sarcomas and metastatic all over the body.
Compared to other radiation therapies and surgeries, SBRT is quite risk free as it does not involve any invasive techniques. Still, there can be few complications which can be dealt with easily in time. These are
Fatigue, in the first week of treatment
Swelling may occur near the treatment site that can cause vomiting, headache and nausea. Consult a doctor, if such symptoms are experienced.
Hair issues such as losing of hair or irritated scalp may occur.
Post operative care
After care of SBRT is quite casual to other treatment. You may experience some bleeding or mild headache which can be cured with medication directed by as a doctor.
Patients can resume their daily activities in one or two days.
Complications caused by SBRT are temporary and will be eliminated in a few weeks.
Any changes in health must be informed to your doctor at once.
Late side effects may also cause after a year or so.