Ascension Via Christi Cancer Center in Wichita, on the campus of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, is a freestanding cancer treatment facility for outpatient cancer rehabilitation and radiation therapy, including the region’s only CyberKnife radiosurgery system. The cancer care center also houses the Via Christi Cancer Resource Center.
Therapies offered at the Cancer Center
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): External beam therapies, these allow for precise treatment of deadly tumors with less damage to health tissue.
High-dose-rate brachytherapy: This precise treatment places a source of radiation in close proximity to the tumor, allowing the delivery of high doses of radiation while sparing healthy tissue.
CyberKnife targeted radiation therapy, available at Via Christi’s Cancer Center in Wichita, is a noninvasive alternative to surgery for treating tumors anywhere in the body, even hard-to-reach tumors that can’t be removed surgically. By delivering high-dose radiation with unrivaled accuracy, this high-tech weapon against cancer offers many patients new treatment options that were not possible in the past.
While patients lie still, CyberKnife’s computer-guided robotic arm moves around them, aiming at tumors with pinpoints of radiation from dozens of angles. The robotic arm moves up and down with each breath so tumors, even in the lung are always in target. And the radiation beams are so precise they are accurate to less than 1 millimeter — or about 1/25th of an inch — so nearby healthy tissue isn’t damaged.
Treatments are painless because they require no incision, no sedation and no uncomfortable immobilizing head frames that older radiation technologies require. Patients can go home immediately after treatment without needing recovery time.
CyberKnife offers patients treatment with:
- No incision
- No anesthesia
- No pain
- No need for an immobilizing head frame during treatment
- Minimal recovery time
- Rapid return to normal activity
Traditional radiation therapy can involve 10 to 40 treatments but with CyberKnife, that can be reduced to one to five treatments. That means more flexibility for patients and less time away from work and home life.
CyberKnife is most often used to treat breast, bone, prostate and lung cancer.
For more information about CyberKnife treatment at Via Christi, talk with your doctor or call the Via Christi CyberKnife Center at 316-261-3200 or 800-362-0070 ext. 3200.
Frequently asked questions about CyberKnife
- Will I feel anything? No, nothing will touch you and there will be no pain during the procedure.
- How long do treatments take? Typically treatments take 15 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the area being treated.
- Can I eat before the procedure? Yes, most patients can eat and drink normally. Prostate patients will not eat breakfast before their treatments.
- Can I take my regular medications? Yes
- Is there a knife in the procedure? No, there is no knife or cutting of any kind.
- How many treatments will I have? The number of treatments may range from one to five.
- What should I wear? Wear comfortable clothing. If possible no metal around the area that will be treated. For female patients with lung cancer we suggest wearing a sport bra or no bra at all.
- Can you see or talk to me during the procedure? Yes, there are cameras and an intercom so that we can talk if needed. The therapist will also be able to hear you.
- What if I cough or sneeze during the treatment? The machine and therapist constantly monitor your movements and the robot will correct for movement.
- What if I move during my treatments? The machine and therapist constantly monitor your movements and the robot will correct for movement.
- Is there music to listen to? Yes, there is music that you will be able to choose from. You can choose the type, genre of music and artist. You can also bring CDs from home if you would like.
- Can I drive? Yes. The treatment will not interfere with you driving ability.
Cancer Resource Center
Via Christi Cancer Resource Center is a comfortable, welcoming environment for learning about cancer. We offer quiet study areas, with numerous books, brochures and multimedia resources. Here you'll find information on all aspects of cancer, from general questions to the latest advances in treatment. Those without cancer can also visit to learn ways to prevent or reduce the risk factors for cancer.
If you want to connect with others who have cancer, you can attend our cancer support groups and classes. We also have a special play corner that is available for children who are being accompanied by an adult. This friendly area offers age-appropriate books that specifically address what is happening to their loved ones.
At the Cancer Resource Center, you can:
- Gather information on the entire continuum of cancer as a disease.
- Access materials available in a variety of languages.
- Receive educational help from an oncology-certified nurse.
- Learn about community resources for cancer patients.
- Attend educational sessions.
- Help your children understand their cancer or that of a family member.
- Discover lifestyle changes you can make that may prevent cancer.
- Assess your degree of risk for various cancers.
- Grow in knowledge, hope and determination.
- Consumer health books, brochures, magazines and newsletters
- Internet access to cancer-specific website
- Laptops with WIFI access to use during chemotherapy treatment
- Audiovisual materials
- Health models
- Children's books