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Bob Loose chose the CyberKnife to treat his prostate cancer because of its renowned accuracy, but the added benefit of a quick recovery was a pleasant surprise.
To treat prostate cancer, active grandfather chooses CyberKnife
When it came to deciding on a course of treatment for his prostate cancer, Bob Loose says choosing MultiCare’s CyberKnife in Tacoma was an easy decision.
“When you have something that moves with the body and is that accurate – then you really have no choice,” he says.
Loose, who lives in Puyallup’s South Hill, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. He was at an intermediate risk of the cancer progressing, and his doctors recommended treatment. At 76, he was only partially retired; still substitute teaching and coaching high school football after a 50-year career in education and sports.
Learn more: What is CyberKnife?
Videos: The first CyberKnife in Tacoma for cancer treatments
He immediately began studying his options, reading up on prostate seed implants – which are implanted into the prostate – and radiation therapy. Then Dr. John Rieke, a radiation oncologist and medical director for the MultiCare Regional Cancer Center, told Loose about the CyberKnife.
“I had never heard of it before,” Loose says.
The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System delivers high doses of radiation with pin-point, sub-millimeter accuracy. The system can deliver radiation beams from any direction and focus them precisely on the tumor – minimizing damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. The CyberKnife is the only robotic radiosurgery system designed and FDA approved to treat tumors anywhere in the body, including the brain, spine, lung, liver, pancreas and prostate.
Rieke says the tool is especially useful for patients with prostate cancer.
“It tracks the prostate and moves with it,” he says. “Ultimately it can deliver a really high dose of radiation that is curative in most men without putting much radiation into the rectum, bladder or the muscles that control urinary leakage.”
The doctor also noted other benefits: CyberKnife treatment is noninvasive, takes less time than traditional radiation, and the side effects during and after the treatment are minimal.
Rieke talked with Loose for more than hour during their first appointment, explaining the treatment plan and answering his questions.
The doctor enjoys the interaction, and says it helps patients as well.
“I have found that where we take the time up front to really help them feel like they’re educated, and help with their decision, then the patients do better later on,” Rieke says. “I want them to feel like they made the best decision they could.”
For Loose, that was the CyberKnife. He completed the treatment over five days the January after his diagnosis. He recalls the main challenge was lying still for two hours at a time. His side effects – primarily a feeling of needing to urinate – disappeared after a few days.
He was back in the classroom as soon as he was done. Now almost two years later, Loose remains healthy and active, teaching, coaching and spending time with his wife of 57 years and his 14 grandkids. And his first great-grandchild is on the way.
“I’m just really satisfied with the way Dr. Rieke handled it,” Loose says. “I’d recommend the CyberKnife to anyone.”
To learn more, visit MultiCare's CyberKnife website or call 253-403-4994.
MultiCare’s CyberKnife is the first in Tacoma and Pierce County, and only the second CyberKnife center in the Puget Sound region. The CyberKnife is the first and only robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body, including the brain, spine, lung, liver, pancreas and prostate.
Posted on Nov 5, 2012 in Cancer