Pat Keane had never heard of photon radiation before his cancer diagnosis. In fact, he hadn't given much thought to cancer treatment at all. That changed three years ago when the lump Pat noticed in his neck turned out to be cancer in his right tonsil. Read his story or watch the video below.
Following surgery to remove the growth, Pat required aggressive radiation, something that carried risks, like dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, difficulty with speech and the possibility of losing teeth.
Pat's radiation oncologist, Dr. Anne McCall of the Edward Cancer Center and Fox Valley Radiation Oncology, explained how Edward's Rapid Arc technology could safely and accurately treat Pat's tumor.
"I appreciated they could pinpoint the beam so carefully, as there's a lot of important stuff packed in one's head and neck," says Pat. "For them to say we understand, we have the technology, we have the people and it's going to work, meant everything."
Rapid Arc's technology allows delivery of a shaped beam of radiation that avoids healthy tissue. In Pat's case, the pinpoint accuracy meant Dr. McCall could deliver the most powerful dose of radiation possible to his tumor.
"We're treating patients that we never dreamed of ten years ago and we're seeing the results," says Dr. McCall. "Patients are not only living, but they're living better lives."
In addition, Rapid Arc treatments are as much as ten times faster than typical radiation delivery methods, a benefit that allows patients to return much more quickly to their normal routine and activities.
Today, Pat is free of cancer, free of the radiation's side effects and back to his active lifestyle with his wife and two kids. The only reminder of his battle with cancer is the scar on his neck.
"It's behind us and I feel great," says Pat. "We're just moving forward!"