Personalized and Precise Treatment
Because of the high number of COVID-19 cases last spring, Michael and Dr. Soffen had their initial conversation virtually, where they quickly developed a plan—a combination of hormone and radiation therapies. The hormone therapy, which Michael started last April, prevented the cancer from growing and boosted the effectiveness of the radiation therapy that he then began in August. Michael had 44 radiation treatments over nine weeks.
“Michael was a great candidate for radiation therapy,” says Dr. Soffen. “With a team approach, he did well with treatments.”
Precision is important when it comes to risk and side effects of radiation treatment, adds Dr. Soffen. CentraState uses state-of-the-art technology that delivers radiation directly to the cancer site while limiting exposure to healthy organs and tissues. Each day, Michael had a daily 3D scan of his prostate to help guide the radiation treatment. Gold markers implanted in his prostate served as a GPS when the radiation beam was on.
Michael also received an injectable hydrogel called SpaceOARTM to help protect the surrounding organs from radiation. SpaceOAR creates a space between the prostate and those organs, resulting in less pain and fewer side effects. CentraState was the first hospital in the state, and one of the first in the country, to use SpaceOAR.
“In addition to offering sophisticated technology, we also pride ourselves on delivering individualized, hands-on care,” says Dr. Soffen. “Personal interaction can make all the difference.”
Michael had some side effects from treatment, including skin tenderness and fatigue. He enjoyed exercising and dancing when he felt energized, but he always made sure to listen to his body.
“Clearing the living room furniture for rumbas was great, but some days I needed to take a nap,” adds Michael with a laugh.