Precision CyberKnife Patient Success Stories
David, Port Jefferson Station
David, a 59-year-old mechanic for the Long Island Railroad who worked in the Port Jefferson yard, was suffering for a few years from dizziness, tiredness, headaches, sinus pressure and bouts of hearing loss. He had been caring for his father, who had Alzheimer’s disease, and thought that he was developing allergies while in his father’s home.
He went to his primary care doctor for medication to relieve his sinus pressure. His doctor referred him to an allergist. The allergist determined that he had allergies but was suspicious of his continuing headaches and referred him to a neurologist. An MRI showed a golf ball size tumor on his right frontal lobe.
David chose to go to Mather Hospital, where his meningioma tumor was successfully removed by neurosurgeon, Dr. Sumeer Sathi.
Upon successful completion of David’s surgery, he was referred to Precision Cyberknife of New York for treatment to eradicate any remnants of the brain tumor. He had the five treatments he needed over the period of one month. If he opted for traditional radiation, the treatments would have taken twice the amount of time. “I was happy to get to spend extra time with my Dad before he died,” said David.
Richard, a 77-year-old retired Athletic Director from East Hampton High School, leads a very active life. “When I’m not busy renovating homes with my wife, Kathy, I’m out hiking, gardening, golfing and evening paddling in an outrigger canoe with a crew of six in Hawaii.”
So when his doctor told him he had prostate cancer, he did his research on options for treatment. His urologist recommended Precision CyberKnife of New York as a possible treatment. Richard met with radiation oncologist Joseph Cirrone, MD, at Precision CyberKnife to discuss his treatment and answer all of his questions, then talked it over with his wife. After doing their research online, they decided that he would undergo the treatment.
“I had to have it done before October, because we were going back to Hawaii for the winter. I went there first week of September and they made it work. I did five treatments. One day I played golf after a treatment. Two days after the last treatment, I flew to Hawaii.
“In five short visits, my cancer was gone. No side effects. None,” he said.
Richard said he didn’t feel any discomfort during the treatments and was shocked at how easy it was, and how well his doctors worked together. “Everybody cooperated beautifully. It was a good experience. I think that should be noted. I had no side effects at all. It didn’t affect any phase of my life - my daily life, my physical life, anything. It was great. “I have no regrets. No qualms about what we did. And here I am, moving on in life. My feeling is if you’ve got cancer in your body - get rid of it. I would recommend Precision CyberKnife to anybody who qualifies.”
Gerald, Wading River
Gerald couldn't tell you much about his prostate cancer treatments at Precision CyberKnife of New York, except that they were easy and painless. "Talk about not hurting or being invasive!" he said. "I fell asleep during four of the five treatments when they put the headsets on and played country music. I was laying there for 45 minutes and went right to sleep."
And following each of his five treatments over a two-week period, during which the father of three and grandfather of seven said he did not experience any discomfort or pain, "I could do anything I wanted. It didn't put me down or put me out at all. I still did all the same things. I'd go to the beach. I'd read the newspaper. I'd go out or see the grandchildren. Nothing changed."
Gerald, 69, learned that he had prostate cancer after a visit to his doctor and routine blood tests. "For the longest time, my PSAs were okay and then they started to go up," he said.
Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. A PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man's blood, and the blood level of PSA is often elevated in men with prostate cancer.
Gerald saw urologist Albert Kim, MD, who did a biopsy and determined Buckley had prostate cancer.
"When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer my doctor offered several different treatment options, and a friend of mine who went through Precision CyberKnife a year earlier said it was easy and good," he said. "When I went back to my doctor, I said I wanted to try Precision CyberKnife and he said I was a good candidate."
At Precision CyberKnife, a program of Mather Hospital at New York Cancer and Blood Specialists, Gerald spoke with radiation oncologist Martin Silverstein, MD.
"I've been a practicing radiation oncologist for more than 25 years. I've seen great advances in radiation technology. Precision CyberKnife is one of the most amazing breakthroughs in radiation delivery that I've seen in my career," said Silverstein.
"I would recommed Precision CyberKnife because it was a very good experience and it did what it was supposed to do. It was a much better experience than I thought it would be and the people were great there," said Gerald.
Since his treatments, Gerald's PSA levels have continued to decline. "I'm looking forward to the PSAs continuing to go down and that's what my doctor expects," he said.