‘18 months left’: New cancer treatment arrives in nick of time
CANCER patients no longer have to travel to Brisbane for radiation therapy now the technology has arrived at a cancer centre local to Ipswich.
Springfield’s Icon Cancer Centre introduced stereotactic radiation therapy, which treats advanced cancers that have spread to the bones.
Before it arrived at the centre in October, the potentially lifesaving treatment was not available nearby.
Already, local patients are making use of the technology.
Paul Cahill discovered he had cancer at the beginning of the year when he received the results of his annual blood test.
“My urologist told me I have a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, and then a PET scan found that the cancer had spread into my pelvis,” Mr Cahill said.
“With how advanced my prostate cancer was, I was told if I didn’t receive treatment I would only have 18 months to two years left.”
Despite his family’s history of prostate cancer and his recent battle with kidney cancer, the news hit Mr Cahill hard.
“My uncle died over 20 years ago from aggressive prostate cancer. He had an operation in the 90s and was in remission for about five years then it came back and he was dead within 18 months,” he said.
“But there has been a lot of advancement in technology and treatments since then.”
After Mr Cahill’s biopsy, his doctors realised it was an aggressive cancer.
“They put me immediately on hormone treatment and cancelled my operation so the hormones could take effect and suppress everything,” he said.
As the secondary tumours in Mr Cahill’s pelvis were small, he was able to receive stereotactic radiation therapy treatment, following hormone therapy and surgery to remove his prostate.
He was the first patient at the Springfield centre to receive the therapy.
The therapy delivered radiation to individual tumours with pinpoint precision, ensuring safe and effective treatment directly to the tumour, while minimising radiation to surrounding organs and reducing side effects such as bowel and bladder irritation.
“I’m so thankful I could receive this treatment in Springfield. It was a real eye-opener for me; that the same amount of radiation could be delivered in just three sessions rather than across four or five weeks. It made it easier to get it all over and done with quickly,” Mr Cahill said.
Mr Cahill has finished radiation treatments and is now on six-monthly check-ups.
“Things are going well, they’re looking good,” he said.
“I’ve done all the treatments, I’m as good as gold.”
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