In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Kirsten Warhoe, M.D., board-certified radiation oncologist at Austin CyberKnife shares how metastatic cancer is treated with the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System, and how Austin CyberKnife is safely treating patients during COVID-19.

What is metastatic breast cancer?

– Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body.  With metastatic breast cancer (also called stage IV), it is cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.

– Although metastatic breast cancer has spread to another part of the body, it’s still breast cancer and treated as breast cancer.

– Breast cancer can come back in another part of the body months or years after the original diagnosis and treatment.  According to, nearly 30% of women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will develop metastatic disease. 

How do metastatic breast cancer cells spread?       

– If the cells travel through the lymph system, they may end up in nearby lymph nodes or they may spread to other organs.  More often, cancer cells that break off from the main tumor travel through the bloodstream. Once in the blood, they can go to any part of the body.

What are the most common areas metastatic breast cancer cells spread to?   

– The most common areas metastatic breast cancer spreads to are the brain, bones, liver, or lungs. 

At AustinCyberKnife, metastatic breast cancer is treated with the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System.  What is CyberKnife?

– CyberKnife is a painless, non-surgical alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body. 

– The treatment delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme and features a device that controls the width of the radiation beams the machine delivers during treatment, allowing our clinical experts to vary the beam size and treat a larger variety of tumors throughout the body.

 IsCyberKnife used a lot for treating metastatic breast cancer?

– Yes, at Austin CyberKnife, we see a lot of metastatic tumors treated with CyberKnife.

What are the benefits of using CyberKnife for cancer treatment?

– There are numerous benefits of CyberKnife treatment, including:

• It’s noninvasive, meaning no incisions

• There is no anesthesia or hospitalization required

• It’s painless

• It’s completed in five or fewer outpatient treatment sessions

• There is little to no recovery time, allowing for an immediate return to daily activities

• There are minimal, if any, side effects

• Due to pinpoint precision of high-dose radiation delivery, there is minimal radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor

As theCOVID-19 pandemic continues, how is Austin CyberKnife safely treating patients?

– At Austin CyberKnife, our highest priority is to keep all of our patients and staff protected, while not wavering on our commitment to providing patients with safe, high-quality, and comprehensive treatment services.

– Our center is following all recommended guidance from public health authorities, including best practices for hygiene and infection control, as well as staying on top of the latest COVID-related guidelines, including those from the CDC.

– Our center is also offering telehealth services as another option to support our patients virtually.  We can provide safe and effective consultations, follow-up appointments, answer any questions or concerns, etc.using our secure, HIPAA-compliant platform. You will still get the pre-and post-treatment care you need, from the comfort and safety of your own homes.

Austin Cyberknife is located on I-35 near the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. Call them at 512-324-8060 or, visit their website for more details.

Sponsored by Austin Cyberknife. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.