When Brent Loupe’s surgeon recommended radiation with the Gamma Knife Icon to treat a tumor on his pituitary gland, the 61-year-old was relieved to learn the latest technology was just down the street at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Brent’s issues began when he experienced vision problems that affected almost everything – but especially driving, which as an appraiser is a major part of his job. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumor. Brent’s doctor recommended he have treatment with the Gamma Knife Icon to remove the remainder of the tumor after surgery.
But this wasn’t his first experience with the Gamma Knife. Twenty years ago, he remembers his mom traveling to Cleveland to be treated with a previous version of the Gamma Knife technology.
“I was familiar with its effectiveness, so you can imagine how thrilled I was that the Cancer Center, only 20 minutes from my house, was one of just a few facilities in the country to have this kind of advanced technology,” said Brent.
Radiation oncologist Dr. Maurice King led Brent’s care team and provided all the details as to what to expect before his Gamma Knife Icon treatments began in July of 2018. Because the technology is noninvasive, Brent was able to rest a few hours, then go to work after receiving each treatment.
“I had to lay still for the 30-minute treatments, so I took that time to listen to music and practice a deep breathing technique to relax and focus,” said Brent. And despite its name, the Gamma Knife Icon doesn’t involve any cutting and is a painless procedure.
After three treatments, Brent returned to life as usual, receiving life-changing news in January of 2019.
“I can’t describe the feeling I had when I learned that the treatment worked,” said Brent. “The Gamma Knife Icon shrank the tumor and it will continue to shrink.”
Today, Brent is back to life as he knows it – appraising homes and spending any spare time with family – but remains thankful that for the quality of care he received.
“I can’t imagine having to travel on top of everything else that comes along with a scary diagnosis,” he says. “I feel so fortunate that the Gamma Knife Icon is right here in Baton Rouge at a top-notch place like the Cancer Center.”