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CyberKnife Patient Testimonials
Mr. Randy Weaver
Randy learned of this diagnosis when it was discovered he had two tumors. One was a life threatening brain tumor that required immediate surgery. The surgery was successful in terms of its outcome, but Randy still remembers the difficult after-effects. For the second tumor, the acoustic neuroma, he was told that there was another option that would not require invasive surgery and recovery time. The treatment would provide a much greater chance for Randy to preserve his hearing and limit the other side effects. That alternative was CyberKnife.
Randy underwent CyberKnife treatment and was so impressed with the technology and his experience that he actually bought stock in the company! He was also impressed with the staff at CyberKnife Centers of San Diego and his physician, Dr. Damon Smith, who helped him work through the details of the treatment with his insurance company and made the whole experience seamless.
Thanks to CyberKnife, Randy is able to hear all those things that no one should miss – his daughter’s wedding vows, the sound of his wife’s voice and his granddaughter’s laughter.
Mr. Donn Rosenauer
For ten years, Donn Rosenauer and his doctor had been monitoring a PSA level that he described as a roller coaster. But since he had no other symptoms to suggest cancer and the level of elevation wasn’t dramatic, Donn’s doctor recommend the “watchful waiting” approach - repeating tests regularly to watch for any changes. So, when it was time to test again last year, Donn wasn’t worried.
This time, however, Donn’s doctor said he had prostate cancer, and laid out the treatment options, including a standard radiation therapy – 50 treatments over a ten-week time frame. He wondered if there was a different option, one that eliminated the possible side effects of incontinence and impotence. He had another reason for seeking a second opinion: he was scheduled to fulfill a lifelong dream with a visit to Florence, Italy in eight weeks time, and he wanted to make that trip.
That’s when he heard about CyberKnife.
“My doctor said he was impressed with the technology, and that he definitely thought I should get in touch with Dr. Fuller to see if they were still accepting patients,” remembers Donn. “I went home and researched everything I could about CyberKnife on the Internet. The more I read, the more excited I became, and so I was very happy when I made the call and found out that the protocol was still open and that I might qualify.”
Donn then met with Dr. Fuller of CyberKnife Centers of San Diego, who had reviewed his charts and told him that he did qualify for the study. He also outlined the CyberKnife treatment process.
“I liked his ‘just the facts’ delivery,” says Donn. “He was thorough, precise and to-the-point, which I think that anyone who is facing a cancer treatment decision can appreciate. I had already made up my mind to follow through with CyberKnife treatment when I asked him if I should cancel my trip in June, seeing as it was now April. His response was ‘We can do this.’
Donn underwent a course of four CyberKnife treatments that were so painless he actually fell asleep. His only reported side effect was a slight bit of nausea the day after treatment was completed, which disappeared within 24 hours. In June, approximately eight weeks after treatment, this seasoned traveler was in Florence, walking the city, taking in the sights and sounds and “eating the best food I’ve ever tasted in my life.” His PSA level has fallen dramatically and is in the normal range, the lowest it has been in fifteen years.
“I would encourage anyone who is facing a decision about cancer treatment to look into CyberKnife,” says Donn. “My experience was as good as I could imagine, and everyone connected with the Center has been wonderful, from start to finish.”
Mr. Dominick Seavello
Usually, the sooner one finds cancer, the better their chances of recovery and survival. Dominick Seavello is the exception; a year ago, the 75-year-old Escondido resident wouldn’t have been given six months to live.
Seavello went to the emergency room in October when his bronchitis produced blood. An x-ray revealed a large lung tumor; one that had been growing silently and steadily for many years. The tumor was so large that physicians talked about taking the entire lung, but Seavello’s emphysema made that impossible. If his diagnosis had been last May, instead of in October, his prognosis would have been very poor, due to the size and location of his tumor.
Fortunately for Seavello, his cancer was discovered AFTER the physicians at CyberKnife Centers of San Diego introduced the CyberKnife to San Diego – a revolutionary new technology for treating inoperable tumors.
Seavello underwent four CyberKnife treatments in December 2006, and recent follow-up PET scans show NO evidence of any tumor in his lung. According to his radiation oncologist, Damon Smith, M.D., he is living proof of the power and promise of CyberKnife technology.
Mr. Earle Grueskin
Earle Grueskin, a 77-year-old retired Gateway executive who lives in Carlsbad, is another patient who is benefiting from CyberKnife treatment.
Two years ago, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, spotted when he had his annual PSA. Like many prostate cancer patients, he had several options — almost too many, according to a recent report on MSNBC, which highlighted the confusion of multiple options for prostate cancer patients.
Having already gone through a stomach resection and brain surgery in his life, Earle was ready to investigate when he heard about an alternative to traditional prostate surgery: CyberKnife.
He did his homework, met with one of the physicians to ask questions and made his decision to go with CyberKnife because, as he said, "the science made sense to me." As the third patient of the San Diego CyberKnife Center, he is a poster child for its success: 18 months after treatment his PSA levels have fallen to near zero, his minimal side effects have resolved and there is no sign of the cancer.
Mr. Roger Smoyer
Roger Smoyer, a 74-year old retired Los Angles police officer that has lived in Ramona since 1975, found out two years ago that he had lung cancer. Married for 52 years to a cancer survivor, he has four grown children and seven grandchildren.
When Smoyer was originally diagnosed with lung cancer, doctors found it necessary to remove his entire left lung. Unfortunately when they removed it, they found five cancerous lymph nodes in his other lung, forcing him to undergo both chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
He seemed to respond to this treatment until May of this year when a PET scan showed that another tumor had developed. This time, due to the location near his aorta, doctors told him it was inoperable. And because he had already received his lifetime dose of radiation and chemotherapy, he felt the diagnosis was a death sentence.
That is until his oncologist referred him for CyberKnife treatment.
In June he went for three treatments over three days, which he said was a cakewalk compared to his previous treatments. Roger Smoyer just had another PET scan (in November), which shows he is now cancer free.