Living with metastatic breast cancer: CyberKnife treatment

January 15, 2021 Mary Monahan, Program Coordinator, Swedish Radiosurgery Center

Portrait of a female cancer patient


In this article:

  • Almost 170,000 people are living with metastatic breast cancer, which occurs when cancer spreads beyond the original location in the breast.

  • CyberKnife technology is a form of stereotactic radiosurgery that precisely targets tumors with radiation, reducing exposure to surrounding tissues.

  • Swedish offers this innovative treatment through the Swedish Radiosurgery Center.

An estimated 168,000 patients currently live with "mets," or metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer, also called stage 4 breast cancer, means the cancer has metastasized, or traveled, through the bloodstream to create tumors in the liver, lungs, brain, bones and/or other parts of the body. Between 20 and 30 percent of women with early-stage breast cancer go on to develop metastatic disease. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 29% for woman and 22% for men; median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes around 42,000 lives.

The Swedish Cancer Institute’s multidisciplinary team offers extensive treatment options — surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy and numerous clinical trials. The main goals of metastatic breast cancer treatment are to make sure patients have the:

  • Longest survival possible with the disease

  • Fewest possible side effects from the cancer and its treatment

  • Best and longest quality of life possible

At our Cherry Hill location, the Swedish Radiosurgery Center physician’s innovative approach is a paradigm shift in treating MBC. Using CyberKnife technology, we successfully treat metastasis in the bone, lung, liver and brain while the patient remains on systemic therapies. 

The CyberKnife system is an advanced method of stereotactic radiosurgery. It uses the most advanced technology to precisely target the tumor with radiation within 1 mm accuracy — which means we deliver a full dose to the target while minimizing exposure to surrounding areas. 

CyberKnife has revolutionized cancer treatment by improving overall survival with low or minimal side effect risks, prolonging progression-free survival and extending the totality of treatment options available to our patients.

Find a doctor

If you have questions about CyberKnife and metastatic breast cancer, contact the Swedish Radiotherapy Center. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

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