Worried man checking bills for cancer treatment | Anova Cancer Care | Denver

A cancer diagnosis by itself is stressful and can be compounded by the financial burden incurred during cancer treatment. According to the American Journal of Medicine, two years after a cancer diagnosis 42.4% of patients will have depleted their entire life savings. A study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that 2.3% of cancer survivors between the ages of 18-64 filed for bankruptcy as a result of the medical expenses they incurred during their treatments.

Everyone at Anova Cancer Care is fully aware of the burden patients often face in paying for their cancer treatment. We believe that CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery is not only an efficient cancer treatment but also a cost effective one.

In addition, we make every effort to keep down the expense of our patients’ cancer treatments with CyberKnife. Most insurance companies and Medicare cover CyberKnife treatment costs. We will review with our patients their insurance plans so we can assist in meeting requirements for coverage and obtaining pre-authorization for CyberKnife cancer treatment.

Questions to ask insurance providers about CyberKnife cancer treatment cost

If you have insurance, your first step will be to contact your insurance company to see what your health plan will cover. Be prepared by asking the following questions.

  1. Is Anova Cancer Care in my network? What are my co-payments for office visits and treatments?
  2. Does my plan include pharmacy coverage?
  3. Does my plan have any restrictions in drug coverage?
  4. Does my insurance plan offer any additional cancer care coverage?
  5. If I use an out-of-network provider, what percentage of my bill will be paid by the insurance company?
  6. Do I need a referral from my primary care doctor or insurance authorization before making an appointment at Anova Cancer Care?
  7. Will my initial appointment, testing, pathology or radiology with Anova Cancer Care be covered by my insurance plan?

Practical tips on managing your cancer medical bills

  1. Work with your medical providers to make sure they submit any bills to your insurance company in a timely manner. All medical bills should be submitted to your insurance.
  2. Review your bills and keep an up-to-date record of claims submitted and their status. Reconcile the Explanations of Benefits (EOB) your insurance company sends with your medical bills.
  3. Use a notebook or computer file to track all of your expenses.
  4. Document conversations with your insurance company and medical providers.
  5. Keep copies of everything related to your medical claims. Make sure these documents are organized.

Financial resources for CyberKnife cancer treatment costs

We encourage our cancer patients to utilize outside resources to help manage their cancer treatment costs. It is often possible to receive financial support for specific services, like transportation, home care, medications and more.

The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition, a group of 14 organizations that helps cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting their financial challenges.

Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Support Helpline is for anyone affected by cancer. In addition to providing emotional support, the helpline offers referrals to financial resources.

The Patient Access Network Foundation helps underinsured individuals with their out-of-pocket costs.

Accuray, the manufacturer of the CyberKnife system, offers a resource page on the typical process of insurance reimbursement for CyberKnife treatments.

The Cancer Care organization provides services to help cancer patients with resources on coping with cancer care including financial and co-pay assistance.

couple walking outdoors with the woman supporting her husband after prostate cancer diagnosis | Anova Cancer Care | Lone Tree, CO

A guide for spouses and partners of men with a prostate cancer diagnosis

While prostate cancer is only found in men, the aftershock of the prostate cancer diagnosis can be far reaching for all those around him. If you have a spouse, partner or loved one who has prostate cancer, you may be overwhelmed and wondering how to best support and care for him.

It is completely normal for both the patient and his loved ones to experience feelings of anxiety, fear and frustration. Overcoming your fears through education and learning about your partner’s treatment options can help alleviate some of the worry that comes with a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Become familiar with prostate cancer treatment options before your partner’s next doctor appointment.

Supporting your partner through the emotional roller coaster of a cancer diagnosis is incredibly important. The journal of Clinical Medicine: Oncology published a review of studies that found men with prostate cancer experience increased feelings of anxiety or depression. Cancer patients who experience anxiety or depression may be less compliant with their treatment, potentially reducing the treatment’s effectiveness. Emotional worries related to a man’s diagnosis are more likely to negatively affect their relationships.

Prostate cancer and communication

Communication is the key element of supporting your loved one through his prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. Each individual handles stress differently. You need to talk to your partner about how you can best support him.

When discussing difficult topics with your partner, engage in active listening, be calm and open. Don’t assume anything, or project your thoughts or feelings onto your partner. Depending on how your loved one handles stress, he may want space. Or he may want you or others in his support network to remain close. Ask what he wants and needs.

Your partner may find it helpful to discuss his prostate cancer battle with others who also have a prostate cancer diagnosis or with those who have lived with it. Encourage your partner to attend a prostate cancer support group.

Discussing the prostate cancer diagnosis with other family members or friends may be difficult for your partner. He may want your help telling parents, friends and children about his disease. Ask your partner how he wants to handle informing his extended support system and offer to help.

Be there for your partner

Talk to your partner about going with him to his medical appointments. By joining him at his doctor appointments you can not only benefit from learning more about his prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment options, you can also be an advocate for his care. Come prepared with questions for his doctor and take thorough notes. Encourage your partner to ask his own questions, as well.

Of course you and your partner want the most effective treatment with the fewest side effects.
CyberKnife treatment could well be exactly what he needs. 

Physical intimacy after a prostate cancer diagnosis

Prostate cancer, more so than other forms of cancer, affects the patient’s spouse or partner directly. The side effects of prostate cancer treatments are often a major consideration, some patients even avoid treatment due to potential side effects. These vary depending on the type of treatment.

The range of side effects include erectile dysfunction (ED), lower sex drive and urinary incontinence. If you’re attending medical appointments with your partner, ask his medical provider about potential treatment side effects.

During and after prostate cancer treatments, your partner or spouse may be uncomfortable with his own body. He may be embarrassed due to treatment side effects or experience hormonal mood swings that can lower his sex drive.

It is not uncommon for some women whose spouse has prostate cancer to feel unattractive or rejected by the changes in their sex lives. It’s crucial to remember that the change in your sex life is not your fault or the fault of your partner. While your partner or spouse is undergoing prostate cancer treatment it is important to maintain intimacy. Some couples foster intimacy through cuddling or massaging each other.

If your partner is experiencing harmful sexual side effects, this can further impact his emotional well-being. Many men relate the ability to get and maintain an erection with being “manly.” Losing the ability to get an erection can cause those affected to question their identity. Depending on which treatment your partner selected to treat his cancer, he may have options to treat his ED.

Take care of yourself

While caring for a loved one, it is easy to focus all of your attention and energy on his needs. However, if you become emotional drained, your health and well-being may be negatively impacted and your ability to provide care will be compromised.

Maintaining your own health and emotional fortitude will allow you to provide the support your partner needs. Making sure you get enough sleep, exercise and eat well will help you stay healthy. To maintain your emotional well-being, turn to friends and family in your support system. Make time for hobbies and other enjoyable activities.

A prostate cancer diagnosis affects you and your partner. So be aware of the emotional toll your partner’s cancer is having on you.

Man and his doctor discussing cancer facts | Anova Cancer Care | Denver

It’s time to debunk some common cancer misconceptions

Cancer. It’s one of the most alarming words in the world of healthcare, and one people hope they never hear in the context of their health or a loved one’s. While the field of oncology has made leaps and bounds in advancing the prevention of and treatments for cancer, such as our CyberKnife technology, the general public is still often confounded about cancer.

We often find ourselves battling misinformation and myths about cancer, which can go a long way in scaring people about this disease. In order to help people understand the cancer facts, and the continually improving prospects of its treatment, I’d like to address some of the more common myths I hear about cancer.

1. Due to cancer genetics, I will get cancer if it runs in my family.

Among the most common cancer myths is this one: cancer by genetics. About 90-95 percent of cancer types are caused by the mutation of genes that happens over the course of a person’s life. The real cancer fact is that only 5-10 percent of cancer types are developed from a hereditary gene. However, it is very possible for an abnormal gene to be passed down through generations and not lead to cancer.

Sometimes, the reason that members of the same family develop the same type of cancer is because they are exposed to the same elements that could be destructive to their lifestyle. Examples of this destructive behavior that could lead to declining health, and put you at higher risk for cancer, include smoking, not working out or getting proper exercise, and eating an unhealthy, highly-processed diet.

2. Cancer does not run in my family, so I am not at risk of getting it.

Just because cancer does not run in someone’s family does not mean he or she is invincible. The cancer fact is that they are just about at as much risk as in the situation above where someone in the family does have cancer. Genes can become mutated throughout one’s lifespan resulting in cancer, and a person’s lifestyle and personal health can greatly vary from that of their relatives. Both can make a person the first one in their family to get cancer. About 40 percent of men and women will develop cancer throughout their lives. The reality is that most people who are diagnosed with cancer have no familial genetic connection to the condition.

3. Cancer is contagious.

No, cancer is not contagious. You will not acquire cancer from someone via physical contact, such as shaking hands or kissing. The only situation in which cancer can be contagious is in the event of an organ transplant; if the organ donor has a history with cancer, the organ receiver will be at risk for developing the same type of cancer. This is not very typical, but has happened in .02 percent of transplant cases. As a means of prevention, those who have a history of cancer are not usually allowed to donate organs.

4. If one gets cancer, it will always be terminal cancer.

With the advancement of treatment and the use of modern technology such as CyberKnife, the rates at which people are dying from cancer are decreasing. From 1991 to 2015, the combined cancer death rate for men and women declined by 26 percent. The earlier the cancer is detected, the more treatment options will be available and the greater chance of long-term survival. Oftentimes, types of cancers are discovered past the point of being completely cured. But treatment will still extend life and ease symptoms. With the continual research into cancer, the rates of survival from cancer will keep getting better and better.

5. Smoking is a main lung cancer cause, so if you don’t smoke, you won’t get it.

While smokers, and those exposed to second-hand smoke, have the highest chance of developing lung cancer, nonsmokers are also at risk due to other exposures and lifestyle factors. Air pollution and naturally-occurring radon gas are also contributing factors to the development of lung cancer. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the presence of radon gas in the air is responsible for roughly 20,000 cases of lung cancer in the United States per year. While cigarettes have a strong odor, you may not know when you’re in the presence of air pollution.

6. It’s a cancer fact that only older men can get prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is more common in older men, but younger men are also susceptible to it. It’s not uncommon for men as young as in their 40s to get diagnosed. Approximately 40 percent of people diagnosed with prostate cancer are under the age of 65. According to the American Cancer Society, men at high risk of prostate cancer (those with multiple family members who have been diagnosed) should begin getting prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests at the age of 40. If only one member of the family has had prostate cancer, men should get tested around 45, and someone who is at low risk (no familial connection) should begin getting tested at 50.

7. Having prostate cancer will ruin your sex life.

Sexual activity following prostate cancer treatment depends on multiple variables, including age, health prior to cancer and type of treatment. Though the exact amount of time it takes to regain normal erectile functioning varies, many prostate cancer patients return to their fully-functioning sexual state. Using CyberKnife as a treatment option will reduce the chance of sexual side effects, thanks to its accuracy that targets the cancerous tissue and avoids the surrounding healthy tissue. For any treatment option, younger age patients may have a better chance at making a quick, full erectile recovery.

8. There is a sugar and cancer connection.

To date, there have been no conclusive studies that have shown active cancer to worsen from the consumption of sugar, or lessen due to cutting out sugar. That being said, eating a high-sugar diet can lead to weight gain, diabetes and a myriad of other health issues, which could contribute to the development of cancer.

Cancer Survivors | Anova Cancer Care | Lone Tree | Woman doing YogaAdjusting well to life after cancer requires taking action to boost your physical and emotional well-being

It’s over. The worry, the CyberKnife radiation therapy, the calendar filled with doctor’s appointments and tests. You’ve finally been given the all-clear. You are a cancer survivor.

Now what?

No one knows how they’ll adjust to life after cancer. After all, your life has been in upheaval for months, maybe even years. You’ve changed physically and emotionally.

And these changes don’t just disappear when the cancer does. Long-term side effects, greatly reduced by CyberKnife treatment, can include fatigue, nausea and dizziness and may show up weeks or years later. Fear of the cancer returning may cause anxiety or depression.

Or you may sail through post-cancer life with no issues at all. No one can predict what will happen.

What we do know is that there are proven ways to stay healthy and limit recurrence. And the good news is that cancer survivors who want to live a healthy life don’t have to do much of anything differently than someone who’s never received the nerve-wracking diagnosis.

The how’s of staying healthy are the same for all of us and include things like exercise, a good diet and limiting stress. It’s the whys that differ now, the reasons why you should exercise and eat well. For survivors, exercise is no longer all about heart health. It’s also about staving off depression and recurrence.

So bear with us. We know you’ve heard much of this advice before – probably even more than once! But listen with new ears this time. Listen as a cancer survivor.

How cancer survivors can stay on the path of physical health

A healthy lifestyle can limit or mitigate long-term side effects from cancer treatment, according to the American Cancer Society. Although most studies can’t definitively link recurrence to specific health choices, there’s no doubt that making healthier choices can give you a better quality of life.

Create a plan

At your last appointment with us, we’ll talk about life after cancer. Well talk about what you might expect, how often you have to come back for tests and what you can do to boost your overall health.

Eat right

In my January blog, I talked about maintaining a healthy diet during cancer treatment. That same healthy diet is just as important after treatment ends.

I won’t belabor the topic. But I need to address it because a national study of cancer survivors’ diets showed that they ate less healthfully than the general population. They consumed more empty calories and less fiber.

Studies haven’t been clear about diet’s effect on recurrence. But research has been quite clear about how diet affects our overall health. Cancer survivors who followed the American Institute for Cancer Research recommendations for cancer prevention significantly reduced their risk of death. A plant-based diet had the biggest impact on health and has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer.

Incorporating more plants into your diet is a great place to start. Shoot for two or three plant foods on your plate with every meal. Remember that eating nutritious foods, full of the right vitamins and minerals, will help you regain your strength and energy and keep you at a healthy weight.

Refer to my January blog for additional healthy eating tips 


Exercise can be tough for some cancer survivors. When you’re tired or weak, it’s hard to get up and go.

But the benefits have been proven. Survivors who exercise feel better physically and emotionally. They’re more optimistic and have fewer signs of depression. They build strength, sleep better and have less pain. It may even reduce the risk of recurrence. Need I say more?

The American Cancer Society recommends adult cancer survivors exercise for at least 2 ½ hours a week, including strength training at least two days a week. Check with your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen.

Take it slowly at the beginning and build up gradually. Some days you might not feel like moving at all, and some days you might feel like you can walk for miles. Listen to your body.

Sleep well

Sleep – and our lack of it – has been much in the news lately. Nearly half of adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep, and the problem is even more common in cancer survivors. As many as 90 percent report trouble sleeping. Treatment side effects, stress and myriad other reasons can cause these sleep issues.

A restful night in bed is vital to healing. Being sleep-deprived can keep you from exercising and affect your memory, concentration, hormone production and mood. The list goes on.

Talk with us about making adjustments after your CyberKnife treatments, which may include lifestyle changes like limiting caffeine, medications or cognitive behavioral therapy.

Stop smoking

We all know that smoking can cause cancer. That should be reason enough to quit.

But lighting up also can increase your chances of recurrence and the risk of developing a secondary cancer.

Like any bad habit, smoking is hard to break. You’ll probably have to try more than once. Ask your primary care physician for information on resources from acupuncture and patches to hypnotism.

Staying on top of post-cancer emotional health

Wouldn’t it be great to you could look up “cancer survivor” in the dictionary and get a definitive profile – how to act, what you’re going to feel like, whether you’ll have any long-term side effects?

Unfortunately, there’s no one way to be a cancer survivor.

After you’ve finished treatment, you may find that you’re bombarded with a host of new feelings. You’ve lost your cheerleaders, your platoon of meal makers. It may seem as if everyone but you forgot you had cancer.

It’s not surprising that cancer survivors in the U.S. take medicine for anxiety or depression at about twice the rate of people without a history of cancer.

Survivors worry about the cancer coming back. They may have sexual difficulties, infertility or body-image issues after surgery or treatment.

It’s imperative to be proactive about your emotional health. If you don’t deal with the emotional side effects of cancer, you may find it harder to heal and move on.

Limit stress

I know. Easier said than done. But there are ways to reduce stress, even if it’s just in small ways like learning to live with a little more mess if you’re a neatnik or staying away from your “sandpaper” people (the ones who rub you the wrong way).

Find a coping strategy that works for you

What makes you feel more alive and helps you forget the stress? Do more of it.

You may also find the following ideas help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Meditation or other mindfulness techniques like yoga, which has been studied for its links to easing pain and fatigue in cancer patients and survivors
  • Therapists can be of immense help, yet cancer survivors often don’t seek out mental health professionals. Don’t be afraid to give counseling a try; we can provide resources.
  • Cancer support groups, either online or face to face
  • Advocacy or volunteer work, especially with cancer organizations
  • Exercise. It seems to be the cure for all ills, doesn’t it? But it really can improve your mood.

Choose to be healthy

You are now one of an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the country. That number will continue to grow as treatments like CyberKnife improve.

We know it’s not a club you wanted to join, but these millions of survivors are proof positive that it is possible to live a healthy life after cancer.

Find out more

Questions? Contact us Make an appointment

Making healthy choices during cancer treatment | Anova Cancer Care | Couple preparing fresh food

How to craft a cancer diet and lifestyle plan fit for CyberKnife treatment

It’s likely you’ve heard that maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is a critical factor in the battle to beat cancer. You’ve probably also heard horror stories about how difficult that can be during cancer treatment.

Both cancer and cancer treatment can cause extreme fatigue. Having the energy and appetite to prepare food can become difficult, and cancer treatment can also cause foods to taste unpleasant or different from what you’re used to.

Thankfully, CyberKnife delivers radiation to very small, targeted areas and is known for having a much smaller impact on quality of life, with fewer chronic side effects than chemotherapy or traditional radiation. Most CyberKnife patients are spared many of the diet and health difficulties frequently associated with cancer treatment.

However, while a CyberKnife patient may not face some of these cancer treatment challenges, battling cancer still takes a toll on your body, and well-rounded diet and lifestyle choices continue to play a key role in cancer treatment success. This means making healthy choices should be part of your overall cancer treatment plan.

Cancer fighting foods & the do’s and don’ts of a cancer diet

For starters, eating healthy does not mean eating perfectly. A good cancer diet after you’ve been diagnosed doesn’t have to be all about kale smoothies and roasted Brussels sprouts. But concentrating on getting the proper nutrients and hydration is critical to help you feel better and stay stronger through the whole course of cancer treatment.

To avoid malnutrition, weakness and fatigue, your cancer diet should be full of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and good fats. Focus on whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean meat and grains.

Following are some cancer fighting foods and cancer diet tips you can use as a guide.

Plan ahead & don’t be afraid to mix it up

Treatment may have you feeling somewhat nauseous or dizzy, so it can be helpful to prepare your favorite foods and freeze them for when you need them. You may find that foods you used to love no longer taste as appealing and foods you used to dislike taste very good. Don’t be afraid to branch out.

Boost your greens

Aim for at least two to three cups of mixed fruit and vegetables each day. Vegetables and fruit are full of fiber and can help you effectively manage your weight.

Diversify proteins

During treatment meat may not sound as appealing or may have a higher fat concentration than your doctor would advise. Fish, eggs, cheese, beans, nuts, nut butters, tofu, or smoothies or shakes are all high in protein and provide a great reprieve from meat.

Pack a snack

Some cancer patients find it advantageous to graze or eat small snacks through the day. Snacks with high protein content like yogurt, hard boiled eggs, cheese and crackers, or dried fruit with nuts can help keep you full and give you much needed energy.

Hydrate creatively

If plain water seems unappealing, you can get creative by adding fresh fruits and vegetables like lemon or cucumber. Tea, milk, broth, sports drinks or unsweetened electrolyte powders can also help you stay hydrated.

Add a probiotic

Some studies have found that taking probiotics can improve treatment outcomes. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt or fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are good additions to your diet that can boost the good bacteria in your gut.

Change up cooking techniques

Baking or broiling foods can reduce the fat content of your favorite meal to make it healthier. Swapping high-fat products for lower-fat products can also help reduce the fat content of your meals.

Keep a food & symptom diary

This can be particularly helpful if you experience a lot of nausea or other food related symptoms. Track what you’re eating and when you’re eating to better understand if certain foods are irritating your stomach. This will help you determine how often you need to eat to avoid feeling drained.

No boozy brunches

Alcohol use is a risk factor for a number of cancers, and alcohol can have negative interactions with medications. So it’s best not to touch it. Even trace amounts in mouthwashes may be best avoided, as they can irritate and cause mouth sores. Mouth sores are more common during treatment of cancers in the head and neck area.

Food safety during cancer treatment

Surgery, chemotherapy and some types of radiation therapy can decrease your immune system’s ability to fight off infection. CyberKnife does not suppress the immune system as many traditional radiation treatments can, but it’s always important to practice precaution during food preparation.

Here’s what you can do in the kitchen to avoid adding foodborne illness to your cancer and treatment symptoms:

  • Wash hands, vegetables and fruits thoroughly
  • Cook foods thoroughly, ensuring meat is cooked to the temperature suggested on the package or in your favorite cook book
  • Handle raw meats, fish, poultry and eggs with extra caution, keeping them away from other foods and cleaning all utensils and surfaces that raw meat has touched
  • Avoid raw honey, milk and fruit juice; always choose pasteurized versions instead
  • Store foods in a refrigerator or freezer (below 40°F) right after buying them to limit the growth of germs
  • Avoid salad bars, sushi and raw or undercooked meat and fish
  • If you are concerned about the safety (purity) of the well water in your home, you can ask your local public health department to check it for bacteria.

Busting cancer diet myths

Cancer causing agents are constantly researched, and there’s a lot we do and still don’t know about what causes cancer. However, there’s also a lot of misinformation about cancer and diet, so here are some of the most rampant rumors debunked.

Does sugar cause cancer?

Many people believe that refined sugar causes cancer, and that removing it from your diet can dramatically improve treatment outcomes. There’s no evidence to support the idea that including sugar in your diet makes cancer worse, or that removing sugar from your diet will “shrink” cancer.

Sugar does not cause cancer, but a diet high in sugar can lead to weight gain, which does increase your risk of cancer. So eating foods with sugar sparingly is a good step in a cancer diet.

What about artificial sweeteners?

There is still more research needed, but preliminary research has not uncovered a clear link between artificial sweeteners and cancer in humans. Artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium and sucralose have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for consumption.

Can superfoods like kale prevent and treat cancer?

Not only does a garlic, beetroot, kale and green tea smoothie sound terrible, there is little evidence that designated “superfoods” can prevent or treat cancer. While the term “superfood” has little scientific basis, you should still eat fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Cancer is incredibly complex, and your diet is just one small factor in getting cancer free.

Does microwaving plastic containers make food cancerous?

Not necessarily. Some plastics with BPA or other chemicals that make the plastic soft can be dangerous to human health, but a majority of the plastic pre-prepared food comes in reusable plastic containers that are microwave safe. Single use bottles, margarine containers, yogurt cups and other single use containers can contain chemicals, however.

To determine whether a container is safe to microwave, you can generally find a warning on the box or container itself. If you are uncomfortable microwaving FDA approved or BPA-free containers, you can always switch to glass containers.

Cancer lifestyle changes & choices

Here are some other lifestyle changes and choices to consider during cancer treatment.


Regular light-to-moderate exercise has a lot of benefits during cancer treatment and recovery. It can help you control weight, lessen nausea, lower the risk of and improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve your self-esteem. Yoga, dancing, walking, swimming, leisurely bike rides and tai chi are all gentle options.


It’s also important to balance the benefits of staying active with the priority of not getting too fatigued. Give yourself ample rest. Your activity level will depend on the type of cancer and your treatment plan, so it can be beneficial to discuss your routine with your oncologist.

Managing weight

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, it can be beneficial to discuss your diet and weight with your oncologist. They may recommend losing, gaining or maintaining weight in order to remain strong and healthy through treatment.

The CyberKnife difference on cancer treatment impact

CyberKnife does not have the same negative side effects as chemotherapy and traditional forms of radiation. Most patients remain highly active through their treatment, and do not face certain health difficulties such as severe nausea or loss of appetite.

Cancer risks and symptoms vary greatly from person to person, as do treatment symptoms. Your symptoms are likely to vary depending on the stage of treatment. It’s important to maintain an open line of communication with your doctor throughout treatment in order to manage food related symptoms and maintain a healthy quality of life.

Learn more about CyberKnife cancer treatment

Find out more

Questions? Contact us Make an appointment

prostate cancer treatment | Anova Cancer Care Denver | man on computerStereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) delivered by CyberKnife has distinct advantages over other treatments

Having performed more than 1,500 CyberKnife prostate cancer treatments, if I didn’t know better I would think that this technology was created specifically to treat this disease. It is completely suited to the specific challenges of prostate cancer treatment. Yet CyberKnife was first used mostly as a treatment for head, neck and spine tumors that were very difficult to reach.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opened the door in 2001 to the use of CyberKnife to treat other cancers in the body. Since then urologists and oncologists are turning more and more to CyberKnife, as are patients.

CyberKnife’s primary advantages relate to reduced damage to healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous prostate tissues. This is largely due to CyberKnife’s ability to precisely target a tumor in the prostate without radiating healthy tissue. Damaging healthy tissue is the leading cause of side effects from radiation treatment.

SBRT limits the field of radiation

CyberKnife is a form of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), which is a coordinated system to exactly locate the tumor and limit the field of radiation treatment. SBRT delivers a single high dose of radiation or a few fractionized radiation treatments.

There are various types of SBRT, and I believe CyberKnife is the best. CyberKnife utilizes a robotic arm to deliver radiation in different ways and at different angles.

Ever try to slice a grape? It almost seems to squiggle away from the blade, and can result in a poor cut or even a smashed grape. But if you hold that grape against the cutting board between two fingers so it doesn’t move, you can slice it precisely the way you want.

The tumor under prostate cancer treatment acts much like the grape: It squiggles away. That’s because the prostate moves unpredictably, caused by air passing through the rectum and by the filling and emptying movements of the bladder, not to mention the patient sneezing – or just breathing.

The CyberKnife Robotic Surgery System blends robotics, computer-processing power, advanced imaging and the surgeon’s skill to make instantaneous corrections in radiation delivery. This is possible despite any movement of the patient or the prostate cancer tumor being targeted.

We accomplish this by injecting 3-5 tiny, gold reference-point markers into the prostate to guide the radiation beams. The patient lies comfortably in a custom made body cradle that molds to his body and ensures the same positioning during each treatment. The robotic arm swivels around the patient and delivers radiation at the precisely targeted tumor from various angles.

The big 3 benefits of this prostate cancer treatment

Most often we use CyberKnife by itself in prostate cancer treatment to treat early stage cancer that only affects the prostate and not surrounding areas. We also use CyberKnife in conjunction with other treatments such as traditional radiation when the cancer has spread beyond the prostate.

Prostate cancer patients treated with CyberKnife realize three benefits. These three benefits, in order of importance, follow.

It works

Clinical experiences published about CyberKnife prostate cancer treatment show a 93 percent recurrence-free rate five years after treatment; 94 percent recurrence-free rate at four years after treatment; and up to 100 percent recurrence-free rate after 44 months. Results also show lowered prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which are recoded before treatment and tracked afterward and are good indications of longer-term recurrence-free rates.

Fewer side effects

Less toxicity following prostate cancer treatment or any cancer treatment means fewer side effects. The primary side effects from radiation treatment for prostate cancer are erectile dysfunction due to genitourinary toxicity and damage to the bowels and urinary function from gastrointestinal toxicity. These are graded from 0-4, with 0 being no toxicity and 4 being extreme toxicity.

The clinical studies on CyberKnife show that toxicity from the treatment is low, with grade 2-3 levels at 20-60 months following CyberKnife ranging from 2-10 percent for urinary toxicity and less for bowel toxicity (0-5 percent). Erectile dysfunction ranged from 60 percent to 13 percent, depending on the stage of the cancer and whether the prostate gland was precisely located.

Fewer treatments in less time

Compared with standard radiation treatment, CyberKnife delivers 4 times the usual dose of radiation per day, but with half the overall radiation dose over the full course of treatment. That’s because CyberKnife allows the higher dose to be more accurately delivered to “hug the prostate tumor” and spare the surrounding healthy tissue.

That means each CyberKnife treatment only takes about 45 minutes per day for about five days. Normal radiation treatment takes longer per session and sessions go on from 6-8 weeks. For younger men 50-60, who are likely to be working still, this is a valuable convenience.

I urge all men with prostate cancer to consider CyberKnife for treatment. It’s not for every man with prostate cancer that needs to be treated, but it’s a great option for a lot of them.

Is CyberKnife right for your cancer?

Prostate Cancer News Today heralds our milestone of treating 1,500 prostate cancer patients with CyberKnife

Anova Cancer Care made prostate cancer news recently by treating 1,500 prostate cancer patients using the CyberKnife System. The CyberKnife radiation therapy device delivers an advanced form of high-dose radiation directly to the tumor to minimize damage to nearby healthy tissue. Anova uses CyberKnife, developed by Accuray, for prostate cancer because it offers distinct advantages, said Dr. Lee K. McNeely, radiation oncologist at Anova Cancer Care.prostate cancer news | Anova Cancer Care |Prostate Cancer News Today logo

Recent studies making prostate cancer news continue to show excellent results for prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife. The robotic CyberKnife System was specifically developed to track the movement of the prostate automatically in real-time throughout the entire therapeutic procedure to allow for a noninvasive, more accurate and safe therapy. Treatment is typically completed within four or five sessions over the course of two weeks.

Accuray reports good feedback from patients due to the method’s convenience and reduced discomfort compared with conventional methods.

“The CyberKnife System is continuing to demonstrate its position as the radiation treatment of choice for more and more physicians and patients. It offers a convenient, noninvasive approach which precisely targets the prostate cancer with minimal disruption to patients’ daily lives,” said Joshua H. Levine, president and CEO of Accuray.

Full coverage here

CyberKnife System provides grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons with precise radiation

CyberKnife System by Accuray | Anova Cancer Care | Image courtesy of Accuray Incorporated - ©2015 Accuray Incorporated. All rights reserved.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 16, 2017 – In honor of Father’s Day, Accuray Incorporated (NASDAQ: ARAY) joins Anova Cancer Care in recognizing the center’s commitment to providing the most advanced treatments available to men with prostate cancer, many of whom are fathers. The center, located in Lone Tree, Colorado, has treated its 1,500th prostate cancer patient using the CyberKnife® System—an advanced radiation therapy device designed to deliver stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). SBRT is a highly precise form of radiation therapy which maximizes dose to the tumor and minimizes dose to surrounding healthy tissue.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 161,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. It’s important for men to take action to improve their health, including learning about medical conditions which specifically impact them, like prostate cancer, and options for managing the disease. This Father’s Day, June 18, 2017, men and their families can learn about prostate cancer at rallies held by:

  • ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer
  • The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN)

“Urology Associates offers a range of treatment options for prostate cancer, including the CyberKnife, which we administer on an out-patient basis at Anova Cancer Care. We partnered with Anova to offer our patients this option because we believe it effectively manages the cancer with considerably fewer side effects than traditional cancer treatments. With the CyberKnife System, we treat patients in 5 sessions and it’s less expensive for the patient and their insurance company. Most importantly, the system has provided quality outcomes for our patients.”

Stanley H. Galansky, MD, FACS, FAAP, Urologist at Urology Associates

The prostate gland can move unpredictably throughout the course of treatment because of normal patient bodily functions – such as filling of the bladder, gas in the bowel, or even patient movement during the procedure – making the ability to track, detect and correct for motion critically important. Unlike any other radiation treatment, the CyberKnife System continually tracks and automatically corrects the beam for movement of the prostate in real-time throughout the entire treatment session. Published data reinforce that CyberKnife prostate SBRT is effective, with minimal side effects and impact on quality of life during and after treatment, important considerations for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Anova Cancer Care is a busy radiation therapy center, so it’s important that we have technology we trust to provide our patients with the best possible treatment option. We use the CyberKnife for prostate cancer because it offers distinct advantages when treating this disease, most notably it’s the only system available with the ability to track movement of the prostate and automatically adjust the radiation beam during treatment. The CyberKnife System’s accuracy is sub-millimeter, enabling my colleagues and me to treat the disease with unparalleled preservation of healthy tissue and provide substantial quality of life and lifestyle benefits to patients.”

Lee K. McNeely, M.D., Radiation Oncologist at Anova Cancer Care

Additional information about CyberKnife Prostate SBRT

Treatment with the CyberKnife System is non-invasive (no surgery involved) and is completed in 4-5 treatment sessions, over the course of one or two weeks. Conventional radiation therapy typically requires 30-40 treatment sessions, over the course of several weeks;

  • CyberKnife treatment accuracy is achievable without the need for invasive rectal balloons or spacers to spare the rectal wall;
  • The system can precisely target tumors and as a result, may provide a safe radiation treatment option even for some previously irradiated patients;
  • SBRT increases patient satisfaction by reducing discomfort and scheduling inconvenience versus conventional radiation treatments.

Important Safety Information

For Important Safety Information please refer to http://www.accuray.com/safety-statement

About Accuray

Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY) is a radiation oncology company that develops, manufactures and sells precise, innovative treatment solutions that set the standard of care with the aim of helping patients live longer, better lives. The company’s leading-edge technologies deliver the full range of radiation therapy and radiosurgery treatments. For more information, please visit www.accuray.com

“We commend Dr. McNeely and the Anova Cancer Care team on their dedication to improving the lives of their patients. We appreciate our continued partnership and are honored they have selected the CyberKnife technology to treat so many of their low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients. The CyberKnife System is continuing to demonstrate its position as the radiation treatment of choice for more and more physicians and patients. It offers a convenient, non-invasive approach which precisely targets the prostate cancer with minimal disruption to patients’ daily lives.”

Joshua H. Levine, President and Chief Executive Officer of Accuray

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements made in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release relate, but are not limited, to clinical applications, clinical results, patient experiences and outcomes, and Accuray’s leadership position in radiation oncology innovation and technologies. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including but not limited to the risks detailed from time to time under the heading “Risk Factors” in the company’s report on Form 10-K, filed on August 24, 2016, the company’s reports on Form 10-Q, filed on November 1, 2016, February 3, 2017, and May 5, 2017, and as updated periodically with the company’s other filings with the SEC.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and are based on information available to Accuray at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. The company assumes no obligation to update forward- looking statements to reflect actual performance or results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws. Accordingly, investors should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.


Beth Kaplan: Public Relations Director, Accuray

(408) 789-4426 bkaplan@accuray.com

Jane Hauser: MSLGROUP

(781) 684-0770 accuray@MSLGROUP.com


DENVER, March 22, 2017Anova Cancer Care (ACC) was made aware of an ongoing investigation by the United States Postal Service (USPS) in June 2016 pertaining to falsified medical documents purportedly coming from the practice. A probable cause affidavit states that the forged documents were submitted by USPS worker, Caroline Zarate Boyle, to her employer, USPS.

ACC has confirmed that Ms. Boyle was never a patient of Anova Cancer Care at the time, and never received any form of medical notes or release from the doctor.

For any additional questions or inquiries, please reach out to Jessica McLaughlin at JMcLaughlin@VanguardCommunications.net or (303) 382-2999.

Anova Cancer Care is a full-time, Denver-based radiation therapy center dedicated to treating patients with tumors using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System—the latest clinically proven, autonomous continuous image-guided radiosurgery/stereotactic body radiation therapy technology available. Anova Cancer Care is the only fulltime radiosurgery practice in the Denver area that uses CyberKnife.

Our extensive experience and state-of-the-art CyberKnife technology offer exceptional range, accuracy and precision that can treat conditions not always suitable for traditional therapy. That’s why we use CyberKnife to treat patients with all types of cancers, including complex, advanced stage and inoperable cases.

stereotactic Radiosurgery | Anova Cancer Care | CO

The most accurate way to deliver radiation, upgrading a century-old treatment.

Just about everyone knows that radiation is a standard form of treatment for cancer. It’s been used since 1896 in the form of x-rays. As you would imagine, in the last 120 years it’s been substantially improved and is now provided in different forms, with x-rays still one of them.

The objective in all forms of radiation therapy is to alter the DNA of the cancer cells so they do not reproduce and lose fluids. That causes the tumor to shrink at the rate of the cancer cells’ growth.

The different forms of radiation and delivery are all aimed at accomplishing the same objective. But that’s approached differently according to the cancer type, stage and other variables.

One radiation treatment option is stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Anova Cancer Care uses the CyberKnife robotic surgical system to perform SRS. Even though it has “surgery” in its name, stereotactic radiosurgery is not surgery at all. It got that name because the effects in the targeted zone are so dramatic they are referred to as “surgical.” CyberKnife and all methods of SRS discussed below apply radiation.

Some basics on radiation therapy

Cancer treatments utilize ionizing radiation that creates ions in cells it passes through. The ions, electrically charged particles, can kill cancer cells and stop their growth. The two types of ionizing radiation are photon (uses x-rays or gamma rays) and particle (uses electrons, neutrons, protons, alpha particles and others).

High-energy photon beam, the same as used in an x-ray machine, is the most commonly used in radiation therapy for cancer. Photon beams affect all cells they pass through before exiting the body.

Proton beam is a type of particle radiation. Proton beam releases its energy only after travelling to its target, causing little damage to the tissues the beams pass through.

Both photon beams and proton beams can be produced by a linear accelerator. CyberKnife is a specialized type of linear accelerator and is one way to perform stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). It also produces electron and particle beams used to treat skin cancers and tumors close to the skin.

The three forms of SRS are linear accelerator (CyberKnife), proton beam and Cobalt-60 based using photons. Each type uses different technology, instruments and sources of radiation. And each are appropriate for delivering high-energy radiation to treat certain cancers.

All forms of SRS differ from traditional radiation therapy, which delivers radiation to a wide tissue field and damages more of the healthy tissue. SRS more accurately targets the cancer tissues specifically. The difference is in how they do that.

Comparing stereotactic radiosurgery methods

Stereotactic radiosurgery merges 3-D computer-assisted delivery of radiation with a high degree of accuracy to target only the cancerous cells and not surrounding healthy cells. That accuracy used to be achieved by limiting treatment to areas of the head and neck that could be immobilized by placing the patient’s head in a form, or screwing a plate into the skull. That’s now changed.

Linear accelerator SRS (CyberKnife)

The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is the specific type of linear accelerator Anova Cancer Care uses. Other manufacturers produce linear accelerators, such as the Novalis Tx machine. Linear accelerators have benefits over the other types of SRS.

  • One of the main advantages of the linear accelerator is that it can treat larger volume tumors by doing it over several sessions.
  • Treating over time like this is called fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy, and it allows a flexibility unmatched by other machines providing SRS.
  • Can be used on the head, neck and throughout the body.
  • Linear accelerators move around the patient, eliminating the need for restraining devices.
  • Delivering one large radiation beam that is split into many different arcs lessens the damage to healthy tissue.

Advantages of CyberKnife

In addition to the linear accelerator benefits above, CyberKnife has other specific advantages.

  • Uses proprietary software that adjusts for patient movement – even breathing – during radiation beam delivery. This real-time, 3-D respiratory motion adjustment is key to CyberKnife’s reduced damage to healthy tissue.
  • Image guidance compensates for the shifting of tumors during treatment and automatically adjusts to the location without pausing treatment. Tiny gold markers can be placed around the tumor to aid in this.
  • CyberKnife can move in 360-degrees on multiple planes, where most other SRS delivery systems are limited to clockwise and counter-clockwise directions. CyberKnife’s flexibility delivers the beam of radiation in hundreds of different angles to target the precise margins of the tumor.
  • Treatments can be completed in 1-5 days.
  • No pain, no anesthesia, no pain medications, no recovery time or rehabilitation needed.
  • Patient can go home right after treatment.

With rising PSA and a prostate cancer diagnosis, Gary now recommends CyberKnife to others

Read Gary’s story

Particle/proton beam SRS

The radiation oncologist directs the high energy of the proton beams in a 3-D pattern from each beam. The protons release their maximum energy when they reach the designated target. The major limitation of proton beam SRS is that there are only a few facilities in the nation, as each facility costs upwards of $100 million.

Cobalt-60 SRS (Gamma Knife)

Cobalt-60 is a synthetic isotope of cobalt that produces gamma rays when it decays. It has been used to deliver radiation for the treatment of brain cancer since 1950, and that is still the cancer it is most often used on. The most well-known machine for delivering cobalt-60 is the Gamma Knife.

Gamma Knife doesn’t move during treatment so it can deliver high-energy radiation in a precise area of the brain. These machines are generally only located in dedicated neuroscience centers, and they are limited to treating brain cancers and some other smaller tumors.


CyberKnife is a specially advanced type of linear accelerator that has the versatility to effectively treat a wide range of cancers while greatly minimizing side effects commonly associated with radiation therapy.

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