TomoTherapy Trumps Prostate Cancer
Luis Aguirre was flying high. A successful international sales and marketing manager for Jackson & Perkins Inc., he was at the top of his career, living the good life at home and abroad. The last thing he expected was cancer. “I have my annual checkup and there’s never been a problem,” says the retired executive, describing the day that rocked his world.
His doctor performed a routine prostate exam and didn’t like what he found. “As soon as I heard the word ‘cancer,’” Luis says, “my whole system was shaken. I was just devastated.”
After some tense days of follow-up testing, Luis was formally diagnosed with prostate cancer. Like many men, he had no prior symptoms and thought he was in excellent health. “The urologist told me that sometimes you don’t get a warning.”
Doctors gave him three options: surgery to remove the prostate, radiation, or a procedure to freeze the tumor. All three treatments had one deal-breaking side effect: loss of sexual function. For Luis and many other men, this private yet valid concern was tough to accept.
But Luis knew of a fourth option. As a member of the Asante Foundation Board of Directors, the board had recently approved funding for a new precision radiation cancer therapy called TomoTherapy Hi-Art treatment.
As it turned out, one of the individuals responsible for bringing this treatment to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center would become one of its first patients. “I believed in the technology,” Luis says. “It had all of the advantages I was looking for and none of the disadvantages.”
He underwent nine weeks of TomoTherapy treatment. Luis says the side effects were minimal and he never missed a day of work. When he was given a clean bill of health – with his sex life intact – “I was elated! I feel complete. I didn’t lose anything.”
Luis is an advocate for prostate cancer screening and is not shy to tell men to drop the macho attitude and take care of their health. “When you think you’ve got it made and you don’t have any problems, you just never know when you’ll get the shock of your life. It really pays off to get screened. I know it’s embarrassing, but it’s easy. Just get it done.