Tailor-made treatment fit Lyn like a glove
When a 72-year-old grandmother learned she had bladder cancer, she hit the books, researched her own treatment options and passed with flying colors
For many people, Lyn’s life sounds enviable. Together with her husband of 45 years, she enjoys the year-round gentle climate that Sydney, Australia, offers; perfect for making the most of the outdoors. Lyn’s a proud mom of three grown daughters, but her real pride nowadays is her six grandchildren, who she spends as much time with as possible. But nobody would want to receive the cancer diagnosis that Lyn was delivered in early 2020.
“I’d noticed some blood in my urine and scheduled an appointment with my doctor,” she explains. After several tests, she learned that she had bladder cancer. Such a diagnosis was bad enough, but it was especially difficult as Covid-19 became a pandemic and Lyn was forced to embark on this cancer journey without the physical contact and support of her children or grandchildren, though she says they were there for her totally in every other way.
Many people are so overwhelmed with such a diagnosis that they simply follow the recommended treatment plan. In Lyn’s case, a cystectomy, or removal of her bladder was the only option offered. She was determined not to have such an invasive surgery, and, after extensive research, learned about radiation therapy using Elekta Unity MR-Linac. Lyn was especially intrigued by how the treatment would be individualized to the size and shape of the tumor she had. Her tenacity paid off and she made an appointment at GenesisCare’s St Vincent’s Clinic Sydney.
“We were able to provide Lyn with the personalized regimen she was seeking; and I believe that by adapting the treatment each day, and being more accurate with each delivery, we were able to reduce the side effects.”
Lyn met Dr. Jeremy De Leon, MR-Linac Lead Oncologist, who prescribed 20 treatments over four weeks. “Lyn responded very well and we were able to reduce her treatment time by almost half – from a typical average of about 40 minutes down to around 25 minutes per radiotherapy session,” he says. “We were able to provide Lyn with the personalized regimen she was seeking; and I believe that by adapting the treatment each day, and being more accurate with each delivery, we were able to reduce the side effects.”
“As a person living with cancer, it’s difficult to talk about the future,” Lyn says. “But you can always have goals. My goal has always been to see my daughters become happy, healthy adults. Now, with six amazing grandchildren, I have a new group of little people I plan to watch grow up and continue to be part of their lives.”
Lyn says she hopes that her story can help someone else navigate the incredibly complex world of cancer treatment.
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