Lewis’s Story

In May 2011, Lewis received news that would change his life forever.

After an episode where he coughed up blood, 63 year-old Lewis went to see his doctor. A volunteer firefighter for 35 years and a smoker up until 10 years’ prior, Lewis had been experiencing a recurring cough throughout much of his adult life so he went to the doctor’s appointment thinking it was not anything serious.

But unfortunately, it was serious – Lewis was told he had stage 1B lung cancer in his lower left lobe.

When talking about treatment options, initially, his physician only gave him the option of surgery to remove his tumor, but that was unacceptable for Lewis. After watching his mother undergo surgery for a brain tumor, he knew he wanted to avoid surgery at all cost. Lewis did not want to experience the side effects many patients experience after surgery for lung cancer, including long recovery times and breathing problems.

Lewis decided to take matters in his own hands and researched treatment options for lung cancer online, which led him to the non-invasive CyberKnife® System. After gathering information about the CyberKnife treatment from CyberKnife of Southern California at Vista as well as discussing the CyberKnife option with his own physician, who agreed it was a viable option for him, Lewis knew it was the best choice. He appreciated how kind and compassionate the staff was and that they offered him straightforward facts about the CyberKnife treatment option, including the fact that he could go about his normal activities during his treatment session and he would not require the recovery time needed with traditional surgery.

In June 2011 Lewis traveled from Texas to California for his treatments, which lasted a total of three days. Lewis was shocked at how pain-free and comfortable he was during his CyberKnife treatments. He was able to shop, go out to eat and see some of the sights throughout his treatment session. Best of all, after the treatments when he returned to Texas, Lewis was able to carry on his busy day including helping his wife run a web-based cosmetics company, with no side effects at all. In his own words Lewis says, “It was better than going to the dentist.” In fact, his CyberKnife treatment was so easy, Lewis was actually a little skeptical if it worked.

But it did – Lewis went back in March 2012 for a check-up and the tumor was gone – “airspace” as he calls it. It has been seven years since Lewis’s CyberKnife treatments, and he is happy to announce he is in great health. He looks forward to his next healthy scan and spreading his incredible story about CyberKnife radiosurgery.

It has been twelve years since Lewis’ treatment and he still considers it a success.

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Educating others about your experience with the CyberKnife® System can help others who face similar decisions about their own cancer treatment choices.

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Important Safety Statement: Most side effects of radiotherapy, including radiotherapy delivered with Accuray systems, are mild and temporary, often involving fatigue, nausea, and skin irritation. Side effects can be severe, however, leading to pain, alterations in normal body functions (for example, urinary or salivary function), deterioration of quality of life, permanent injury and even death. Side effects can occur during or shortly after radiation treatment or in the months and years following radiation. The nature and severity of side effects depend on many factors, including the size and location of the treated tumor, the treatment technique (for example, the radiation dose), the patient’s general medical condition, to name a few. For more details about the side effects of your radiation therapy, and if treatment with an Accuray product is right for you, ask your doctor.