Maryland Man Chooses CyberKnife and Faster Return to the Golf Course
(Washington, D.C.,) Neal Bobys, 68, of Rockville, Maryland wasn’t totally surprised to hear the diagnosis “prostate cancer” in January of 2016. His father had suffered with the disease so his physicians had been monitoring his PSA levels for several years. When his PSA rose to 4.6, Bobys’s physician sent him for an MRI, which revealed a large mass in his prostate. A biopsy confirmed prostate cancer. His urologist recommended CyberKnife over surgery or conventional radiation.
Neal Bobys became the 1000th prostate cancer patient to be treated with CyberKnife at MedStar Georgetown. “I liked the way it sounded, “said Bobys. “I would just come in, lie down and take a short nap while having the treatment. I didn’t feel a thing. After the treatment I drove myself home. This was really the ideal ‘surgery’ for me. CyberKnife radiation is highly targeted and focused on my cancer so there is less potential for healthy tissue damage than with conventional radiation.”
“We’ve been treating prostate cancer patients with CyberKnife since 2007, so we have quite a bit of experience with this as well as Neal’s particular type of cancer, ” said Sean Collins, MD, PhD a radiation oncologist who has been treating prostate cancer patients with the CyberKnife at MedStar Georgetown for the past nine years.
Medically, his doctors told Bobys he could wait years to address his prostate cancer. But as an avid golfer who travels the world in search of the best courses the game has to offer, getting back to his life was priority one. “Golf and enjoying life are the good parts of getting older. I just wanted to put prostate cancer behind me. “
With CyberKnife, prostate cancer patients can opt for five out-patient treatments instead of 40 doses of conventional radiation.
“To protect the adjacent bladder and rectum, conventional radiation therapy for prostate cancer is given five days per week over eight weeks,” said Dr. Collins. “The CyberKnife is unique in that it tracks prostate motion and adjusts for it allowing for smaller treatment margins. In addition, because CyberKnife can deliver radiation from hundreds of directions, it is more precise than conventional radiation therapy. Smaller treatment margins and higher precision allow us to give higher doses of radiation more quickly. In general, CyberKnife treatments are given on five days over one to two weeks.”
Side effects of CyberKnife are similar to those caused by other prostate cancer treatments and include urinary and bowel urgency and frequency, rectal bleeding and impotence.
“We are very experienced at managing these side effects,” said Dr. Collins. “Another benefit to CyberKnife is recent studies show that higher doses of radiation decrease the risk of the prostate cancer coming back. CyberKnife allows us to deliver that higher radiation dose without injuring nearby critical structures like the bladder and rectum. CyberKnife can also be a good option for patients who have had previous radiation treatment or are too frail to undergo surgery.”
“I even hit golf balls in the days between my treatments,” said Bobys. “I’ve had no pain from the treatment at all. Nothing about my daily life has changed because I have prostate cancer. I now look forward to getting on with my active life and improving my golf game.”