NEW TREATMENTS ARE HELPING MEN WITH PROSTATE CANCER LIVE LONGER....BUT AS GWYN IS HERE TO EXPLAIN CAN STILL CAUSE EMBARRASSING SIDE EFFECTS.
TONIGHT'S HEALTHCAST SHOWS US HOW A NEW TYPE OF GUIDED RADIATION IS MAKING LIFE EASIER.
RICK DANCER'S LIFE IS A BALANCING ACT, HE BOUNCES HIS WAY THROUGH HIS INTENSE TWO-HOUR DAILY WORKOUTS.
"I think I'm in the best shape that I've ever been in in my life."
WHEN RICK WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PROSTATE CANCER LAST YEAR, HE WAS DETERMINED NOT TO LET IT AFFECT HIS LIFESTYLE.
"I don't want to live not being able to do the things that I love to do."
RICK TRIED A NEW RADIATION SYSTEM - CALLED THE CALYPSO. IT WORKS LIKE A G-P-S -- TRACKING THE PROSTATE'S LOCATION DURING THE ENTIRE TREATMENT. THE PROSTATE'S CONSIDERED A MOVING TARGET DURING RADIATION BECAUSE IT CHANGES POSITION WHEN THE BLADDER AND RECTUM ARE EMPTY OR FULL. WITH THE CALYPSO....
"We know exactly where the car is with a GPS device. We know exactly where the prostate is with this device."
THREE TINY TRANSPONDERS ARE IMPLANTED IN THE PATIENT'S PROSTATE. THEY EMIT RADIO-WAVES THAT ALLOW DOCTORS TO TRACK EXACTLY WHERE THE PROSTATE IS....AT ANY GIVEN TIME...IN REAL TIME.
THE SYSTEM IS SO PRECISE THE BEAMS ONLY HIT THE PROSTATE..SPARING SURROUNDING ORGANS.
STUDIES SHOW IT REDUCES GASTRO-INTESTINAL SIDE EFFECTS...AND DOCTORS EXPECT IT COULD REDUCE SEXUAL SIDE EFFECTS TOO.
"It's like having a movie, a continuous read-out where the prostate is throughout the entire treatment."
RICK CONTINUED HIS GRUELING WORKOUTS - EVEN WHILE UNDERGOING RADIATION. HE SAYS THE TREATMENTS DIDN'T INTERFERE WITH HIS ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. NOW - HE PUSHES EVEN HARDER.
"I just don't want it to win."
SO FAR - IT LOOKS LIKE HE'S IN THE LEAD!
THE NEW SYSTEM ALLOWS DOCTORS TO KNOW WHERE THE PROSTATE IS WITHIN ONE-MILLIMETER THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE TREATMENT.SO FAR - IT'S BEEN USED ON ABOUT SIX-THOUSAND PATIENTS IN THE U-S.
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