Rodney’s Story: Revolutionary cancer therapy helped beat prostate cancer

RodneyMen who have prostate cancer confined to one small area of the gland might be excellent candidates for focal therapy. The focal therapy approach pinpoints the area of the prostate that is cancerous and destroys the unhealthy region. The portion that is cancerous is ablated, or destroyed, leaving the gland intact and sparing most of the normal tissue. Patients are also spared the side effects of radiation or having the gland, or a portion of it, removed.

Rodney Bird of Price Hill recently had cancerous tissue ablated on his kidney by James Donovan, MD, using the focal approach.

“It is certainly less invasive. And that sounded good to me,” Rodney says. “My doctor went in with a needle into my back. He used the computer imaging to monitor the progression of the freezing agent. All I know is that it worked and I’m very happy.”

Rodney stayed overnight at West Chester Hospital as a precaution to make sure his bladder and kidney functioned properly. A year later his kidney has remained cancer-free.

He can’t help but think how much different his surgery was than what his mother went through years ago. “I remember she had a small kidney tumor back in the 70s. When they found that, they removed the whole kidney.”

During his career, Dr. Donovan says, there has been a huge evolution in the treatment of breast cancer that is similar to the evolution now underway in focal treatment for prostate and kidney cancers.

“When I was a student, the treatment for breast cancer was always a modified radical mastectomy,” Dr. Donovan says. “My teacher said, ‘We’ll never do lumpectomy.’ In this case, he was wrong. What allowed the treatments to be modified was the mammogram imaging, as well as ultrasound so we could localize the area that required treatment.”

A similar revolution has occurred in other MRI imaging technologies for prostate and kidney issues.

“Because of that, there has been a change in attitude of how to manage common forms of cancers,” Dr. Donovan says. “And we are finding men who have less aggressive prostate cancer may do just as well without any treatment. If the cancer is both aggressive and localized, focal therapy is an option.”

This entry was posted in Success Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Click Here to learn about our most recent updates, visitor restrictions, testing, safety precautions and more.