A Linear accelerator usually referred to as LINAC, have become the standard technique for producing electrons and protons for radiation therapy treatments, producing energy for external beam radiation treatments for cancer. Linear accelerators are highly programmed, computer-powered systems that deliver accurate and controlled radiation to treat cancer patients.
Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery is a treatment in which high-energy X-rays are used to kill cancerous tumors. A linear accelerator LINAC creates photons by accelerating electrons along a linear path where they collide with a metal target. This produces a single, intense photon beam. CyberKnife, on the other hand, is not a real knife as one may presume. It is in fact a piece of advanced machinery that treats tumors, Medical and other conditions. This Robotic Radiosurgery system is a boon for cancer patients searching for a non-surgical and painless option.
Comparing these two in terms of accuracy, CyberKnife offers the accuracy level of sub-millimeter to the targeted area for tumor shrinking and killing. Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery, however, assures accuracy level of a millimeter to deliver high doses of Gamma rays and X-rays (using multi-modality approach) to the targeted area.
In terms of flexibility, CyberKnife offers a frameless system that improves flexibility for both patient and the Oncologist. Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery, on the other hand, requires a Stereotactic frame to be fixed to the patient's head. Thus, the flexibility for patient and oncologists is restricted.
Obviously, they both treat cancer, but the type of cancer they treat differs. CyberKnife is a suitable option for all types of tumors that require advanced or mild treatment. Whether it is an adult, older person or a kid, the treatment can be taken by anyone. Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery, however, is useful for treating brain cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, metastatic cancer, spine cancer, and other types of cancerous tumors.
CyberKnife requires only sessions as few as 1-5 from the commencement of the treatment. Depending on the health and condition of the patient, a single session can cure the tumor, thereby eliminating the need for multiple visits and hospital expenses. Multiple sessions may be required for the patient undergoing Linac Stereotactic surgery depending on the health condition and treatment. Also, hospital stay and surgery may be required if the previous results have not been satisfactory.
Based on cost, since CyberKnife is capable of curing tumors in as few as 1-5 sessions, the cost of the overall treatment, including hospital visits, stays and recovery reduce significantly, making it an affordable option. The cost of Linac Stereotactic Radiosurgery treatment, however, varies in nature depending on the sessions (depending on the condition of the tumor and patient), surgery and hospital stay if required. The cost effectiveness depends upon the duration of treatment.
So what are their benefits? The CyberKnife takes care of the patient's comfort without Anesthesia shots and requiring the framing. This offers flexible positioning, accurate detection of tumor and its removal in real time.
Conventional Linac system is capable of targeting voluminous tumors also. Besides, the treatment can be done in a single session. However, the system featuring a Conventional linear accelerator, which has only rotational movement in one plane, does not have a virtual motion and targeting capability in 3D space around the patient. Also, for treating tumors that move with respirations, the patient needs to breathe and hold which may be slightly uncomfortable than getting treatment in free breathing like in CyberKnife.
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