For GPs

John Frasier, a prostate cancer patient shares his experience with radiation therapy

10 Nov 2017

John explored the options for treatment of his prostate cancer which was diagnosed when he was 72. He asked to see a radiation oncologist as he already knew about radiation therapy. This was because he had had already had a cancer in a gland in his neck in 2002. The radiation was given after surgery had removed the glands to stop the cancer coming back. 15 years later he was well and the neck cancer had not returned, so he had a lot of faith in radiation therapy.

When it came to his prostate cancer, after he had seen the surgeon (urologist) and radiation oncologist and had weighed up all the information he had from the experts, he decided to go with non-invasive external beam radiation therapy. This appealed to him as he was not keen on another operation and as the results of radiation therapy were just as effective as surgery in curing prostate cancer.

One possibility offered to him was to go into a clinical trial using super-precise radiation therapy delivered while tracking the prostate gland (with the cancer in it) during each radiation treatment. Although radiation therapy is always targeted, a new device was being tested in the SPARK trial to ensure the radiation beams were even more accurate. This pinpoint accuracy means that the treatment was given in only 5 treatments rather than daily treatments over several weeks.

In this video, John tells of his decision to have radiation therapy, to go into the SPARK trial and how well he is doing a few weeks after completing treatment.