Richie Cheatham -wanted his prostate cancer treatments the way he likes his cars – fast and efficient.
When this 74-year-old street rod enthusiast was diagnosed with the disease, he opted for Precision CyberKnife of New York and five, 45-minute radiation treatments as opposed to 28 traditional radiation treatments or surgery. “I chose CyberKnife, because I don’t have the time to come every day for two minutes over 28 days,” said Richie, “I need to get up and go.”
Richie, a highly energetic go-getter, learned he had prostate cancer after going for his annual physical with his primary care physician in September 2018. His doctor discovered that his prostate was quite enlarged and, after further testing, diagnosed him with prostate cancer. He recommended that Richie see a urologist, who subsequently prescribed monthly Lupron shots to shrink his prostate.
The urologist also recommended that Richie research his options for prostate cancer treatments. He interviewed three doctors and after meeting Dr. Joseph Cirrone of Precision CyberKnife, Richie felt comfortable that he was an expert in his field. Dr. Cirrone offered an alternative to surgery. He recommended Precision CyberKnife advanced radiosurgery, a nonsurgical cancer treatment that pinpoints high doses of radiation directly at the tumor, carefully avoiding nearby healthy tissue.
“I’d sooner take a gamble with CyberKnife than surgery because I could wind up being somehow incapacitated,” said Richie, “I have got to be able to get up every day and go to work.” Richie heard about CyberKnife from TV commercials. “I figured I’d have to travel west every day. But then when I found out I could get it done 20 minutes from home, my decision was made,” said Richie. Dr. Cirrone showed him the CyberKnife unit, patiently described how it works and explained any possible side effects. “I did fear becoming incontinent or even impotent following these treatments as these can be some of the side effects. But for me the side effects were minimal,” he said.
During treatments, Richie relaxed on the CyberKnife table and listened to the music of his choice through headphones. “At my third treatment I actually fell asleep on the table and the staff had to wake me up,” Richie recalled. The treatments were painless and following each one, Richie drove to work. “I am completely satisfied that the CyberKnife treatments worked,” he said. “As long as I’m upright and mobile, you can’t stop me. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed that no matter what comes my way in life, I’m able to deal with it and conquer it.”
Richie finished his treatments more than a year ago and he’s continues to be happy with the outcome. He was also happy that he was able to get to the Barrett Jackson car auction last January in Arizona.