Noninvasive surgical alternative targets tumors with extreme precision
The Varian Edge radiosurgery system is used to precisely target and treat tumors. It is a technology system consisting of imaging, body positioning, motion management, beam shaping, and dose delivery of radiation beams that target tumors with extreme precision.
The high-focus radiation beam therapy causes damage to DNA in cancer cells which kills the cells and prevents them from growing. Using a machine called a linear accelerator or linac, the beam is sculpted and shaped to conform exactly to the size and shape of the tumor. By targeting tumors with such great accuracy, there is less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiosurgery for cancer may be indicated for people with early-stage or small metastases cancer (that has not spread significantly) or as a noninvasive alternative to surgery. The procedure may be recommended after an imaging test such as CT scan, MRI, ultrasound or PET scan has indicated exactly where the tumor is. Varian Edge radiosurgery also works with chemotherapy or other targeted therapies. Our team approach to your care includes your physician, medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, nurse navigators and support staff all working together through every stage of your treatment.
Despite the name, radiosurgery is not a surgical procedure at all. There are no knives, no stitches, and no incisions needed. You will not be "radioactive" and it is safe for you to be around other people after your treatments.
What to expect during radiosurgery treatment
Patients receive radiosurgery treatment on an outpatient basis, usually one to five sessions over a period of two weeks. Each session may take a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size and location of the tumor and other factors unique to each patient.
The radiation beam gets delivered by the linear accelerator which moves around you from different angles. The radiosurgery system is highly sophisticated and is able to compensate for any shifts or movements (of you or the tumor itself) during treatment to ensure precision. There's even a "GPS for the body"—body surface tracking technology that tracks the position of the tumor in real time.
Because the procedure is so quick and noninvasive, many patients are able to go right back to daily activities after each treatment.Talk to your doctor regarding potential side effects and any additional medications or treatments that can minimize your discomfort.