Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death
There have also been many advances in the field of radiotherapy, including new courses of radiotherapy, known as ‘hypofractionated radiotherapy’, delivering higher doses of radiotherapy in fewer sessions.
I had (SABR) proton beam), radiotherapy to eliminate a small tumour discovered by PSMA-PET scanning within a lymph node in the pelvic bed. This tumour was undiscoverable via MRI and CT scanning. I was promised PSMA scanning once my PSA had reached 0.2 however when this threshold passes it was increased to 0.5 and the PET scan was withdrawn (I cover this ‘fight’ in more detail in a previous post).
Primarily, I ‘fought’ for the PSMA-PET scanning and then on discovery of the tumour I fought for SABR Radiotherapy based upon my own research that revealed that this treatment option supports a shorter treatment plan (3-5 intense radiotherapy sessions as opposed to 30+ lower intensity sessions).
3-5 sessions (only 3 days) – reducing the number of trips to hospital negating excessive work/life disruption and other quality of life issues for example long term peripheral and collateral organ/tissue damage – incontinence etc.
A recent advance to the SABR treatment is MR Linac, which combines two technologies — an MRI scanner and a linear accelerator. This technology, which is currently being trialled by researchers at the ICR and The Royal Marsden, allows radiographers and clinicians to precisely locate tumours, tailor the shape of X-ray beams in real time, and accurately deliver doses of radiation even to moving tumours (lymph nodes move). This is particularly important for cancers that can move during radiotherapy, or between scanning and treatment, including prostate cancer.
Innovation still to come
The last decade has been historic for prostate cancer research, many advances have been made – we have started to use genetic information to personalise treatment, reduced side effects thanks to targeted therapies and we are just beginning to train the immune system to combat prostate cancer.
“We’re already looking ahead, and there is no doubt that the most innovative years in prostate cancer research history are yet to come.”
Thanks for Reading
Peace & Hope, Brothers