Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men living in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 233,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. Men with a family history of prostate cancer, Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and African–Americans are especially at–risk for diagnosis, but Clyde fit none of these categories.
In many respects Clyde was like other retired men his age. He spent time outdoors and on hobbies he loved, volunteered in the community and had an annual prostate–specific antigen (PSA) test. But when his PSA level rose to a 13 and a biopsy revealed he had prostate cancer, Clyde was able to call on his former work experience to guide him while he explored treatment options. Clyde had been employed in the medical imaging industry throughout his career and while radiotherapy equipment was not his specialty, he did have a good understanding of how it worked.
“I’ve been retired for a long time, so I wasn’t surprised that time had marched on and improvements in radiation treatments had taken place,” Clyde said. “But if someone had told me 30 years ago that someday equipment would be able to accurately deliver radiation beams with pinpoint precision within the thickness of a dime, and from hundreds of angles to treat most types of cancer, I wouldn’t have believed it. Well, there is such a machine. The CyberKnife® System.”
Through extensive research Clyde learned the CyberKnife technology uses real–time image guidance to target radiation beams to the prostate, continually adjusting beam delivery for normal movement of the prostate in order to treat the cancer and spare healthy tissue. This precision helps to minimize negative side effects on urinary, bowel, and sexual function that may reduce a man’s quality of life. Clyde thought about the potential benefits and risks associated with this system and decided it was the right approach for him.
Clyde experienced minimal side effects from his treatment and went about his daily routine both during and after his CyberKnife treatment sessions. His PSA has been less than one for more than two years. Says Clyde, “It was like it never happened. I wish all prostate cancer patients could have a similar experience to mine.”
Clyde wants other men to know that while the CyberKnife System may not be appropriate for everyone, they should be aware that it’s an option and available in most large cities in the United States. He also believes it’s important for men to be their own advocate and research treatment options, including CyberKnife. Having an informed discussion with his physician helped Clyde to identify a treatment that worked for him.
Says Clyde, “To my surprise, I learned that eliminating the tumor is the easy part. Most prostate cancer if found in its early stages can be cured. The long–term side effects following treatment are what you need to think about. With CyberKnife, you have a pretty good chance of taking control of the cancer without long–term issues that may impact your daily life.”
As of the creation of this patient profile, Clyde found his CyberKnife treatment to be successful.