“I’ve been battling or I should say surviving cancer for 47 years. I’m 81 now and I was 34 when my fight began. A tumor the size of a football was discovered on my kidney in 1973. It was scary, I thought I was going to die and my wife thought she was going to be a widow. Fortunately the cancer hadn’t spread, the surgeon removed the tumor in one piece and said we got it all, you’re going to be fine.”
Everything was fine until 37 years later when his worst fear became reality. Having had cancer, Charles was monitored closely and in 2010 his Kidney Cancer also known as Renal Cell Carcinoma had spread to his Pancreas and it was diagnosed as Stage 3.
Since then Charles has fought tumors in his Pancreas twice, Lung, Liver and Lymph Node Cancer in his neck.
In addition to surgery, Oncologists have treated Charles with Conventional Radiation Therapy, Chemotherapy, Targeted Therapy and Immunotherapy which reduced the size of his pancreatic tumor, but not completely. He knew he needed to find something else to battle the tumor and other tumors that may evolve. He started researching and discovered CyberKnife Radiation Therapy also known as Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) or Radiosurgery (SRS).
Charles says, “I went on the internet and read that CyberKnife could kill tumors without causing any harm to surrounding organs, that it was non-invasive, there were no side effects or downtime and it could be repeated if a tumor came back or another one popped up in my body. I called the CyberKnife Center of Miami and right away I got to meet with the doctor and the whole team. I didn’t have to go through a big, long process like you do at a lot of medical centers. I didn’t have to wait weeks to get in or go through a bunch of more tests or see more doctors. The staff is excellent. I got to know everyone, they’re all very nice and professional. They answer their phones, you get a call back if you need to speak to someone and if you want to talk to the doctor, he will get on the phone and talk to you too. The way they treat you is amazing. They made it all simple and easy.”
That was 4 years ago, since then Charles has been treated with Cyberknife Radiation Therapy for his lung tumor and twice for pancreatic tumors by Dr. Mark Pomper, Board Certified Radiation Oncologist and CyberKnife Miami’s Medical Director
Dr. Pomper says, “Charles is a great example of what modern medicine can do for cancer patients and it is not debilitating. Cancer has spread throughout his body yet he’s gotten amazing control of it since we first saw him 4 years ago using CyberKnife Radiation Therapy and chemotherapies. Back then CyberKnife took care of his lung and pancreatic tumors, but recently another tumor began growing in the pancreas, so we just finished treatment in that area.”
A big CyberKnife advantage is the radiation beams are so precisely targeted, they destroy only the tumor, not the surrounding tissue so if a tumor recurs or another one evolves close to the same area we very likely can treat it again. Because CyberKnife delivers a strong targeted dose of radiation it requires many fewer treatments.
Dr. Pomper adds, “Charles is a walking miracle. When you meet him you won’t believe he has cancer. He should give other patients great hope even when cancer has spread throughout the body, modern medicine can extend life and quality of life for an indefinite period of time.”
Dr. Pomper says today cancer can often be managed like a chronic illness, like diabetes.
About CyberKnife treatment Charles says, “You don’t feel anything during the treatments. I had no side effects, no pain during or afterwards. I have an appetite, my strength is good. I bike, swim and walk everyday. I work my real estate business and invest in the stock market on a daily basis. My mind is still sharp. I feel fantastic.”
Charles’s advice to other cancer patients, “You have to do your own research on all available cancer treatments. Don’t leave any stone unturned. No one told me about CyberKnife, I found out about it myself. I recommend everyone check it out.”
His words of encouragement, “Never lose hope. Keep working, planning, traveling. Continue living your life every day to the fullest. Fight it, fight to the end.”
To find out if CyberKnife can help you or a loved one call The CyberKnife Center of Miami 305-279-2900 and go to our website now to learn more