For many men, a prostate cancer diagnosis leads to shock and fear especially when they think about how treatment options, surgery in particular, may affect sexual health and urinary function.
The experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami — a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center that uses a noninvasive radiation treatment system called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to kill prostate cancer — say men with prostate cancer don’t have to go down that rabbit hole.
Here are just a few of our patients’ stories.
Howard’s Story: Traveled from Trinidad to CyberKnife Miami
“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I thought my world was coming to an end. I spoke with many men about their prostate cancer treatments, and 95% told me that they had bad experiences with open surgery (prostatectomy) or standard radiation and many felt very sick from their treatments,” says Howard who was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago.
Howard lives in Trinidad where most treatments include surgery or traditional radiation. Howard says he searched for another option on the internet and found CyberKnife Miami.
“I was convinced this is where I needed to go for my treatment,” he says.
One month later he was in South Florida beginning CyberKnife treatment under the care of Dr. Mark Pomper, board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director of CyberKnife Miami.
“Howard was an excellent candidate for CyberKnife says Dr. Pomper. He was in good health and while his PSA levels continued to rise, his MRI and bone scan showed that the tumor was localized to his prostate. So, we were not worried that the cancer had spread to other areas. The procedure went very smoothly, and he tolerated it well enough that he was able to go about his life and enjoy Miami.”
Don’s Story: CyberKnife over Surgery
“I was numb for 24-hours after hearing cancer in the same sentence as my name,” says Don after learning of his prostate cancer.
Don says several doctors pointed him toward surgery, but he did not like the risks that came with prostate cancer surgery, including impotence and incontinence.
His research led him to a consultation with Dr. Pomper at CyberKnife Miami.
“I showed Dr. Pomper a picture of my family and grandchildren and said, this is why I am here. I want more time with them,” Don says. “Dr. Pomper laid out all the objective facts and was the most gracious doctor I talked to. I was convinced and moved forward with treatment at CyberKnife Miami and Dr. Pomper. For the first time I felt confident I was on the right track and slept well that night as did my family.”
“There’s nearly 20 years of scientific research proving it’s safe and effective,” says Dr. Pomper of CyberKnife.
For prostate cancer, CyberKnife has up to a 98% success rate.
Plus with CyberKnife because of its precision, there are minimal side effects, which may include tiredness, urinary frequency and rectal irritation. Medication can help minimize these, and they usually go away in a few weeks.
“My side effects were minimal. After my fifth and final treatment, I had a little fatigue and urinary urgency that lasted maybe a day. Nothing bad enough to stop me from working or doing anything,” says Don.
There is also a lower risk of toxicity than with traditional radiation. And because the radiation from CyberKnife focuses directly on the prostate, there is less risk of burning the anus or testicles. There is also a reduced risk of impotence and urinary incontinence. Sexual function remains the same for most patients after treatment.
“Do yourself a favor, before you get any cancer treatment do your research, learn all your options, get a second opinion from a radiation oncologist and ask about CyberKnife therapy,” says Dr. Pomper.
Don agrees, “You must be your own patient advocate. The only person looking out for you, is you.”
Joe’s Story: Patients Need to be Educated about CyberKnife
“I had prostate cancer, and I didn’t have any symptoms, nothing, no problems,” says Joe after his doctor found prostate cancer as part of a routine physical.
His doctor told him about several options to treat his cancer including surgery to remove his prostate, standard radiation, watchful waiting and CyberKnife.
Joe chose CyberKnife because he wanted to live cancer free without long-term side effects.
“I cannot believe what some of my friends with prostate cancer went through, and they did not have to. The saddest part is their doctors did not tell them about CyberKnife. After talking to the cancer experts at CyberKnife Miami and learning about the CyberKnife, I knew I made the right decision. I cannot believe anyone would choose anything else. It was so easy. I did not feel a thing during or after treatment. Most times, I just laid there, closed my eyes, and listened to the music,” says Joe.
Joe had five CyberKnife treatments during a 10-day period.
“There was no cutting, no surgery, and treatment was finished in two weeks,” Joe says of his CyberKnife treatment.
Joe’s advice to others: Make sure you have routine checkups. Research treatment options and get a second opinion.
“I wish more men knew about CyberKnife. Do not just do what your doctor tells you, do your homework, learn all your treatment options,” he says.
Prostate Cancer Treatment Near Me
The American Cancer Society says one in eight American men will face a prostate cancer diagnosis in his lifetime. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, take our patients’ advice and call CyberKnife Miami for a consultation or for a second opinion.
If you would like to find out more about prostate cancer treatment with CyberKnife, call us now at 305-279-2900 or go to our prostate cancer website now for more information. www.prostatecancertreatmentmiami.com