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Trading Spaces: SpaceOAR Replaces Balloon for Prostate Patients

Good news for men undergoing prostate cancer treatment: No more balloons, and that’s not a bad thing…

Men in Ascension Parish undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer now have access to a new technology that offers more comfortable protection against treatment side effects. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales now offers SpaceOAR, a hydrogel system that can replace the traditional balloon-device that creates space between the prostate and rectum. It has been shown to reduce bowel, bladder and erectile damage.

What does Ascension Parish resident Herben Henry say about SpaceOAR?
Herben Henry was the first person in the area to be treated using SpaceOar and he attests that it was the right choice for him.

“I only had to drive to Baton Rouge once to receive SpaceOAR, after that I was able to go back to receive my treatments in Gonzales,” said Henry. “This decision was a no-brainer for me. It put my mind at ease knowing that it was a one-stop shop and I wouldn’t have to drive 30 miles a day to receive radiation. It was a true blessing.”

Why is SpaceOAR better than a balloon?
Previously, in order to protect prostate cancer patients’ organs during radiation treatment, it was necessary to insert a balloon in the rectum before every radiation dose. Some patients would endure this procedure every day for five to nine weeks. Conversely, SpaceOAR is a temporary gel and is administered only once at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge. The patient can then receive radiation treatments at Mary Bird’s Gonzales location.

How does SpaceOAR work?
The SpaceOAR System is injected through the skin into the space between the patient’s prostate and rectum prior to radiation. The gel remains in place for about three months during radiation treatment and then liquefies, and is absorbed and cleared from the body in the patient’s urine.

“SpaceOAR was a clear choice for Mr. Henry and now he’s able to continue his treatment back home,” said Charles Wood, M.D., the only radiation oncologist in Louisiana who is a Certified Applier of SpaceOAR. “Clinical research has shown that by using SpaceOAR, patients experience fewer side effects and a better quality of life post treatment.”

For more information on SpaceOAR, please call the Cancer Center at (225) 767-0847 or visit our website.