Stereotactic Radiosurgery News


Patient Education: Common Cancer Terms and What They Mean 

Patients coping with a cancer diagnosis may hear unfamiliar medical terms related to their disease and its treatment. We’ve highlighted three common cancer treatment terms below and provided brief overviews of what each term means.
Ablation or Ablative: Refers to surgical removal of tissue. When discussing Novalis Tx® treatment, ablation refers to the process of destroying and killing cancer cells with high-dose, precisely targeted radiation. You may hear a physician say Novalis Tx delivers “ablative doses of radiation to a tumor.”

Local Control: Refers to cancer that hasn’t grown and progressed and remains at the original tumor site. Radiation is used for local control of cancer cells at the site of the tumor. Stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy have shown to provide excellent local control rates for several types of primary and metastatic cancers. 

5-Year Survival Rate: Refers to the percentage of patients who are alive at least 5 years after their cancer diagnosis. Many of these people live much longer than 5 years after diagnosis, but the 5-year rate is used as a standard way to discuss a patient’s prognosis, or outlook for survival.

Prostate Cancer Predictors: An Overview of Findings from Recent Study

A new study published in the journal Prostate shows prostate cancer incidence among distant relatives on both sides of a man’s family can help predict whether he will develop the disease. According to study author Lisa Cannon-Albright, “Family history is a substantial risk factor for prostate cancer. But typically, a clinician will ask a patient whether there are any people in the family with prostate cancer, possibly identifying whether they are first-degree relatives. And that’s about as far as it goes.”

Researchers noted that family history was just as effective at predicting disease incidence as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, a common screening test for prostate cancer. While the screening test increased the number of diagnoses, the proportion of cases associated with family history remained the same before and after the advent of the PSA test. Further, the authors noted, “history of the disease among a man’s maternal relatives is just as big of a predictor as the incidence among his paternal relatives.”

When Cancer Comes Back: How to Cope with Recurrent Cancer 

Anger, frustration and distress are just a few of the many emotions patients may have if their cancer comes back. Although these feelings are normal and expected, there are measures you can take to help relieve these added stresses. Below is a list of coping strategies that former patients have found helpful during their own cancer journeys:
  • Research and talk to specialists about your specific case and the treatments available to you. You may find comfort in knowing exactly what’s going on and what to expect.
  • Find someone to talk to and refrain from bottling up your emotions. It can be a close friend or family member, or someone trained to offer support, such as a counselor or your medical team.
  • If in well enough health, be as active as you can. Many patients find that physical activity or spending time outside can lift their mood and provide a healthy distraction. Taking walks, gardening, or bicycling are all great low-impact outdoor activities.
  • Set goals and things to look forward to.
  • Join a support group or online community. Many patients find it encouraging to be around or talk to others going through a similar situation.

Do you have questions about Novalis Radiosurgery at Palomar Medical Center Downtown Escondido? Visit our Novalis Radiosurgery System FAQs page, Contact Us or Find our Location(s).