Rick Taylor of Cincinnati had already beaten cancer once when he was 21 years old. So he didn’t hesitate when he saw signs of a new tumor at age 50.
“I had a little lump on my neck, and that’s when I went to the hospital,” Taylor recalls. “They sent me to a couple of different doctors, then they came up with a game plan to operate on me first then do radiation and chemo at the same time afterwards.”
This time around, however, Taylor had an advantage that didn’t exist 30 years ago. He was one of the first in the area to benefit from the Edge, a full-body system that delivers highly-precise treatment to eliminate cancer, without surgery.
“The Edge is the top-of-the-line linear accelerator for cancer treatment,” says Dr. Robert Summe, an oncologist at The Christ Hospital. “We’ve had it for two years now at Christ and it’s made life easier, both for us and our patients.”
One of the key benefits for patients is the machine’s precision, which minimizes radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. That’s particularly important when treating sensitive areas like the head and neck, or other parts of the body where healthy internal organs are near the treatment area.
“The more normal tissue you spare, the less long term or permanent side effects the patient will have,” Dr. Summe says. Treatments with the Edge also require a lot less time. “In the past, I would estimate for a complicated case like
Mr. Taylor’s a typical treatment might be 25 to 30 minutes,” Dr. Summe says. “Now it might be 10 to 15 minutes, so it’s almost half the time.”
Since the majority of the time is typically spent positioning and repositioning the patient, the Christ Hospital team made a custom mask of Taylor’s face to help position him quickly every time.
“They made this mold and they’d pin it down so the machine would hit every spot at the same time and so I wouldn’t move during the procedure,” Taylor says. “The procedure only took about five minutes once they got me up on the table.”
The Edge has also made the hospital staff’s job easier by providing better imaging than in the past. “We’re much more confident in the accuracy of this treatment. GPS-guided technology allows us to pinpoint the exact tissue we are targeting,” Dr. Summe says.
The combination of new technology and a caring staff enabled Taylor to complete a full course of treatment with no breaks in just over a month.
“The treatment doesn’t hurt or anything. You don’t even know it’s doing anything really,” Taylor says. “The staff there was great too. They were real nice, did anything for me, told me to take my time.”
Two years later, Taylor is still cancer free and enjoying an active lifestyle. “I feel real good. I stay healthy. I work out all the time,” Taylor says.
Learn more about how the Edge
accurately targets difficult-to-treat cancer in half the time as standard treatments, or call 513-585-EDGE.