LewisGale Pulaski first SW Virginia hospital offering different way to treat prostate cancer

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 6:49 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Sarah Cannon Institute at LewisGale Hospital Pulaski is the first and only local hospital in southwest Virginia to offer high-dose rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy. Health officials say it is a more convenient and precise form of radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer than other treatments.

Dr. John Rogers was the first doctor in southwest Virginia to perform the treatment.

HDR prostate brachytherapy is a minimally invasive treatment, allowing patients to undergo just one or two outpatient treatments, rather than weeks of daily treatments that have been traditionally done.

Bill Baldwin is the first patient to undergo the treatment. Baldwin says as a cancer survivor, he’s more than grateful for this procedure and the doctors and nurses who stood by his side through the entire process.

“This journey has led me to a variety of different medical facilities. And so I’ve had experience with a lot of folks and medical communities. And I would say I am so grateful that the folks here at LewisGale Pulaski have been so welcoming, so friendly, and so, so welcoming, friendly to me. I was so comforted,” said patient Bill Baldwin.

“You know, I’m grateful for Mr. Baldwin for being such a great first patient for being willing to work with us, understanding that this was our first case with this technique. And I am just thrilled it is has gone well,” said Dr. Rogers.

The radioactive source is directed through small catheters that are inserted into the body and guided by computer to the tumor, or target area, where it delivers precise radiation treatment. The radiation is delivered in minutes and then removed from the patient’s body.

The effectiveness of HDR brachytherapy in treating prostate cancer is comparable to traditional external beam radiation treatments, but with reduced side effects and lower risk of damage to nearby tissue and organs.

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