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Cyberknife treatment for a particularly painful perineural spread

Survivor Stories . 18 May 2020

Story of a Patient Who Underwent Non-Invasive Radiosurgery for Perineural Spread and Pain

Two and a half years ago, the world turned upside down for Mr Bhaskar (name changed), aged 50, when he was diagnosed with right buccal mucosa carcinoma. It came as a complete shock to his family members too. Buccal mucosa carcinoma is a type of oral cancer, wherein the cancer cells grow in the lining of the cheeks and the back of the lips, where they touch the teeth. He underwent surgery and several radiotherapy sessions at a private hospital in Rajkot and recovered completely. However, two months ago, he had acute pain in his right cheek, particularly in the temporal and mandibular region, which made him turn to HCG-the Specialist in Cancer Care.

Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

Mr Bhaskar immediately came down to HCG-ICS Khubchandani Cancer Centre, Mumbai along with his son. A PET scan was performed to find the cause for the pain, and it revealed a perineural spread, which refers to the spreading of tumour cells along the nerves. So, it was not just the pain but also the recurrence that Mr Bhaskar had to tackle

Cancer cases at HCG are treated through the multidisciplinary approach, wherein a common communication platform is created for specialists from multiple oncological disciplines; here the patient’s information is analysed thoroughly and effective treatment is devised, which would not only preserve the patient’s life but his/her quality of life too. It was not any different in the case of Mr Bhaskar. Through the multidisciplinary approach, the specialists at HCG-ICS Khubchandani decided to opt for 6 fractions of Cyberknife, which is non-invasive radiosurgery that would be treating the perineural spread efficiently and eradicating the pain.

Cyberknife Radiosurgery as a Treatment Modality

Cyberknife is a robotic radiation delivery system that comes with a linear accelerator, robotic arm, multi-leaf collimator, and a patient-positioning system. This procedure precisely targets the tumour with high-dose radiation from multiple angles, while leaving the surrounding healthy tissues unharmed.

One of the biggest advantages of Cyberknife treatment is the ability of the Cyberknife system to track the tumour site in synchronisation with the patient’s breathing rate. In other words, the patient doesn’t need painful immobilisation using treatment frame to reduce the movement during the session. Other benefits of Cyberknife include shorter treatment duration, no anaesthesia administration, faster recovery, and most importantly, the patients can get back to their normal lives almost immediately.

The entire procedure is painless and each fraction may take up to 60-90 minutes. It is ideal for those patients who have tumours or spread that are inoperable or surgically complex.

Mr Bhaskar’s Cyberknife treatment took place in April 2020. The treatment not only addressed his pain, with which he came in but also its underlying cause. According to the reports, nearly 40% of the patients with perineural spread do not exhibit any symptoms. Luckily for Mr Bhaskar, he got in touch with HCG before the perineural spread had reached advanced levels, and this eventually helped in a successful treatment.

Patient’s experience at HCG

Doctors and staff members at HCG-ICS Khubchandani ensured that Mr Bhaskar’s experience at HCG was a comforting and reassuring one. Right from the first fraction, he could feel the difference; this increased his confidence in the treatment. By the fifth fraction, the pain was relieved and spread had subsided too. You can watch Mr Bhaskar, along with his son, talk about the treatment and its effectiveness here

Through high-end treatment protocols and a special focus on the patients’ quality of life, specialists at HCG help their patients in their valiant battle against cancer and ensure they are victorious.