He comes here from southern California because he says medicine is more high tech here, with less red tape to get things done. Already, Dr. Rufus Mark is bringing some attention with him to Joe Arrington Cancer Center. Dr. Mark is the first anywhere to offer Prostate High Dose Radiation with the patient awake, using local anesthesia.
When Prostate Cancer is discovered in an early stage, in other words, it's still inside the Prostate, the routine procedure has been remove the Prostate. But that surgery means an increased risk of rectal injury, loss of bladder control, or impotence, not to mention the recovery that comes with major surgery. Now, Dr. Rufus Mark brings a new option to patients in West Texas. It's called High Dose Radiation Treatment.
Judge Bill McBee says, "That was my choice at age 52, to get that, and it's a blessing. There's a place here to give it to me."
Judge McBee of Hobbs was back in Lubbock for a check-up after HDR treatment for his prostate cancer last month. His cancer battle called for two trips to Lubbock, three weeks apart, driving himself back to Hobbs after each treatment.
HDR has been around for years, in treating female cancers. But only recently has Dr. Mark brought it to Lubbck to fight Prostate Cancer at Joe Arrington Cancer Center. The procedure looks more like acupuncture than radiation. Depending on the size of the Prostate, 12 to 26 needles, are delivering high dose radiation into the Prostate all at once.
A skilled computer technician guides the dosage on the right path, avoiding the bladder, the urethra, the rectum, thereby protecting against complications, while killing the cancer. "There may be a dozen or so in the country, but with team in place, six or seven in country," says Dr. Mark.
Under local anesthesia, this procedure is not done anywhere else. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that it takes less time to fight Prostate Cancer, with fewer side effects and a faster recovery, and it is Medicare approved. "Hope people consider this as an option," says Dr. Mark.
It's becoming more and more obvious that a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer doesn't mean major surgery and a long recovery. Instead, an early diagnosis allows you to choose how to get rid of it and go on with your life. The first step is finding it. So, if you are age 50 or older and have not been screened for prostate cancer, you should take advantage of a free Prostate Screening at Joe Arrington Cancer Center next week. You can make an appointment for either Monday, September 23rd, or Thursday the 26th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
To make an appointment, you can call (806) 725-7977.