From an article by Tracy Stanton with
Dr. T. Rhett Spencer
McLeod Regional Medical Center Radiation Oncology
“Driving to McLeod [from North Carolina] every other day for two weeks was better than coming daily for a month or more. And Each treatment session only took 15 minutes.” – Michael Walters, the first McLeod prostate cancer patient to receive SBRT radiation treatment
Walters’s urologist had been monitoring his prostate PSA level (also called watchful waiting) for two and half years until it was twice as high as normal.
“There is no single treatment option that is better for all men,” says McLeod Radiation Oncologist Dr. T. Rhett Spencer. “The most appropriate treatment for prostate cancer should be based on the man’s age, life expectancy, other medical problems, as well as the stage and aggressive nature of the cancer.”
Walters was told that his cancer could best be treated with radiation. After meeting with Dr. Spencer, Walter learned he met the criteria for SBRT. He would become the first McLeod patient to receive SBRT and only need five treatments to eradicate the cancer.
SBRT involves delivering the radiation dose in larger, more powerful portions over fewer treatment visits. It also offers the same survival and risk of toxicity as traditional radiation. Yet, the amount of time a patient needs to undergo treatment is considerably shorter — from 40 days with conventional treatment to 5 days with SBRT.
“In conventional radiation treatment, we are able to precisely deliver the dose of radiation directly to the prostate, minimizing harm to the surrounding organs including the bladder, the rectum, the femoral heads and the small bowel,” explains Dr. Spencer. “In addition, this therapy has been shown to be beneficial in reducing long-term side effects of prostate cancer.”
SBRT is most suited for men with low to intermediate risk — meaning the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes or outside the prostate.
After only 5 radiation treatments, Walters became a cancer survivor treatments, compared to more than 35 treatments if conventional therapies had been used.
For more details on this story and procedure, click here and check page 24.
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