For 82 years, Morgan City resident Conrad Beadle was the picture of health. In April 2018, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2018. Because Conrad’s wife received care at Terrebonne General Medical Center several years ago, he did not want to travel far for great care. For him, the decision to seek treatment at Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center was an easy one. The fact that they are the only facility in the bayou region offering the innovative SpaceOAR technology was an added bonus.
Prior to SpaceOAR Hydrogel, patients often had to have a balloon inserted into the rectum prior to every radiation treatment to protect their organs. SpaceOAR, on the other hand, is a one-time injection prior to initiation of radiation therapy.
“Receiving the SpaceOAR treatment was not bad – it was pretty much painless,” recalls Conrad. “The two nurses with me during the treatment talked me through every step.”
Radiation oncologist, Dr. Daniel Bourgeois, administered the one-time injection of SpaceOAR and radiation therapy for Conrad.
“The SpaceOAR Hydrogel is an amazing new technology that allows us to drastically reduce the radiation exposure to the rectum while also helping to stabilize the prostate for targeting with our radiation beams,” said Bourgeois.
“With SpaceOAR, we are seeing improved quality of life and patient satisfaction. Conrad is one of many patients who‘s seen great success with the program.”
Conrad hasn’t let his diagnosis or treatment slow him down. After completing treatment earlier this summer with successful outcomes, Conrad has no complaints. “I have had a good life with lots of exercise and no problems since this cancer. I’m the luckiest person living.”
With innovative cancer care close to home, Conrad was able to receive treatment without losing focus on his passions – going hunting and camping with his daughter, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
For more information on SpaceOAR, please call Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center at 985.876.9045 or visit mbptgmc.org.
The words above are just a few of the ways that Hillary Lanaux’s family describe her meaningful life.
Leaving a Legacy
This is why New Orleans residents Mr. and Mrs. Lanaux made a generous, transformational donation – one of the largest ever received across the state – to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s Prevention on the Go Program, which focuses on cancer prevention, education and early detection in Covington, Houma and surrounding parishes.
“This gift from my parents is really an offering to the community in honor of Dr. Saux and everyone who cared for Hillary, and for those now caring for my father,” said Hilda Lanaux.
“Hillary was a leader and was extremely empathetic to the plights of others. I know she would be so proud of how her grandparents’ gift will touch so many people.”
Why Early Detection is Important
Every year, 25,000 people in Louisiana and more than 3,500 people in the Covington and Houma areas alone are diagnosed with cancer each year. Chances of survival are much better when cancer is detected in its earliest stages, so raising awareness and increasing detection has become a life or death matter in Louisiana – ranked number four in the nation for highest cancer mortality rate. In fact, across the country, 80 percent of prostate cancer patients benefit from early detection while 99 percent of breast cancers are found early enough to treat and increase survivorship rates.
Services Close to Home in the Northshore and Bayou Regions
The Lanauxs’ gift is truly transformational in that it will fund prevention, education and early detection programs through the Northshore and Bayou regions where Mary Bird Perkins partners with St. Tammany Parish Hospital and Terrebonne General Medical Center. In these areas, the Cancer Center’s mobile medical unit travels throughout the Covington, Houma and beyond screening people for breast, colorectal, skin, oral and prostate cancers.
Currently, the Cancer Center’s mobile units provide nearly 50 screenings throughout the state each day. The Lanauxs’ gift will provide funding to Prevention on the Go for four years. Take a look at how this donation will impact the community.
Hillary Continues to Help Others
“Hillary was a people person and was president of her class in both her junior and senior years in high school. She was a mover and a shaker,” said Ethel Lanaux, Hillary’s grandmother. “While we don’t know how she would have impacted peoples’ lives in the future, she most certainly made the most of the short time she was with us. Our hope is that this gift in her name will help do the good that we know she would have done if she were still with us today.”
Through this gift, Hilary’s brave leadership and empathetic, helpful spirit will certainly live on.
For more information on how you can make a gift in memory or honor of someone special, visit our website.
When Dan Alexander learned he had prostate cancer only one thought crossed his mind: how would he tell his family? But, he was able to quickly reassure them that because of SpaceOAR, a new and innovative technology offered by Mary Bird Perkins in Hammond, he was receiving the safest and most effective treatment available today.
A New Day
Historically, in order to protect prostate cancer patients’ organs during radiation treatment, it was necessary to insert a balloon into the rectum before every radiation treatment. In Dan’s case, this meant he would endure this procedure a total of 29 times.
“I couldn’t imagine having to go through that time and time again. It’s pretty incredible the technology we have now a days,” said Dan.
“I only had to receive SpaceOAR once and then my organs were fully protected during treatment,” said Dan. “There was no discomfort, no pain. I was able to carry on with visiting my family and enjoying retirement again.”
Dr. Andrew Elson, one of the first certified appliers of SpaceOAR in Louisiana, administered the one-time injection for Dan. “The SpaceOAR Hydrogel is an incredible new technology that allows us to significantly reduce the dose exposure to the front part of the rectum, which is the most likely location for a complication or problem to occur after radiation therapy,” Dr. Elson commented. “This treatment is revolutionary; we are seeing enhanced quality of life and long-term patient satisfaction. Mr. Alexander is one of the many men who has had great success following treatment.”
- SpaceOAR is one of the few FDA-approved devices ever studied in a randomized clinical trial with several years of data showing proven benefits in terms of reduced risk of a rectal complications, rectal related symptoms and improved quality of life.
- For every patient undergoing radiation for prostate cancer, the treatment team carefully analyzes the dose that is absorbed by the rectum. It is clear that patients who have received SpaceOAR experience improved rectum protection compared to patients treated before this technology was available.
- For many years, the treatment team has carefully shaped the radiation dose using complex computerized planning. However, SpaceOAR provides enhanced ability to further protect organs and reduce the risks of side effects or complications.
How SpaceOAR Works
The SpaceOAR System is a temporary gel, mostly made of water, which is injected through the skin into the space between the patient’s prostate and rectum prior to radiation. The gel starts as two separate liquids, which are injected simultaneously. After they combine, the solutions immediately form the gel inside the body. The application of SpaceOAR is performed as an outpatient procedure using mild oral sedative medication and local anesthesia to eliminate any discomfort. During the injection, it is also possible to place small gold seeds as markers to help line up the prostate for accurate targeting of each daily treatment. The gel remains in place for about three months during treatment and then liquefies, and is absorbed and cleared from the body.
Socks and ties are the typical go-to gifts because dads can be hard to buy for. But cancer prevention and early detection never go out of style. Wish your dad a healthy Father’s Day and let him know about the top three cancers that affect men. Also, encourage him to talk to his doctor about his personal risks.
Prostate Cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Louisiana. Dad should talk to his doctor about when to begin prostate cancer screenings. About 161,360 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. each year. Take a look at this downloadable resource for more information or visit our prostate cancer page.
Colorectal Cancer is the third most common cause of cancer deaths in men and women and can often go undetected until it has significantly advanced. Early detection is key; more than 90 percent of colorectal cancers can be cured when caught in its earliest stages. Take a look at this downloadable resource for more information or visit our colorectal cancer page.
Lung Cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in Louisiana. At least 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking, but nonsmokers are still at risk. Having a first-degree family member with lung cancer roughly doubles the risk of developing lung cancer. Take a look at this downloadable resource for more information or visit our lung cancer page.
If your dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, SpaceOAR, a new technology that has revolutionized prostate cancer treatment may be an option. It’s a more comfortable, effective way to receive radiation treatment for the disease. This Father’s Day, take the time to discuss your family history and share this information with the men in your life. Learn more about our upcoming screenings and reduce your risk by visiting our screening calendar.
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.
Men Undergoing Prostate Cancer Treatment Gain Better Defense Against Side Effects
Four or five football fields. In today’s world of precision radiation therapy for cancer, that’s how Dr. Charles Wood describes the amount of space a new treatment system puts between the prostate and other vital organs to ensure they remain healthy.
When Ronald Atwood was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he talked with friends who had also been diagnosed and treated for the disease and asked about their experience. They shared with him some of the challenges they faced during treatment, which included a balloon inserted into the rectum that helped protect their vital organs from radiation. This uncomfortable process occurred prior to each treatment—with most patients receiving treatment once a day over five to nine weeks. But when Ronald first met with his radiation oncologist Dr. Wood, he was surprised and relieved to learn that he’d be the first to benefit from a new breakthrough that eliminated the need for the balloon.
Recently cleared by the FDA, the new system, SpaceOAR hydrogel, provides a new level of protection for the rectum and other organs during radiation treatment for prostate cancer. 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.
“The amount of separation we’re able to achieve between the prostate and rectum with SpaceOAR is about one-half inch or so, which may not sound like much. But when you’re talking about the highly-focused radiation we’re able to deliver today, that might as well be four or five football fields,” said Dr. Wood, the only radiation oncologist in Louisiana who is a Certified Applier of SpaceOAR. “It’s a tremendous amount of space to work with and it’s a huge buffer for the rectum.”
The key advantages of SpaceOAR include better preservation of rectal, bladder and erectile function, resulting in improved quality of life.
“I couldn’t even tell the gel was in my body,” said Ronald. “Now, my cancer is gone, I’m feeling great and I can feel confident knowing that my organs were fully protected during treatment.”
For more information on SpaceOAR, please call Dr. Wood at (225) 767-0847.
One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Mr. Eldon Bourg never thought he’d be the one.
One in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Mr. Eldon Bourg never thought he’d be the one.
Born and raised in Grand Caillou and deeply rooted in his community, Bourg has never lived life by the numbers. He has spent his life working and growing his family in the Houma area. He married, had three children and nine grandchildren. But, he was also diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer at the age of 63.
During a routine checkup, Bourg told his doctor that he had been experiencing some pain in his lower abdomen. His doctor referred him to urologist, who recognized the symptoms of prostate cancer and had Bourg tested. He had never been screened before, but the results were positive, and in 2012 he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.
Bourg was treated at Mary Bird Perkins TGMC Cancer Center and now, five years later, counts himself a survivor. Bourg doesn’t allow his diagnosis to define him and still lives his life outside of the statistics, but now he advocates for others to get screened for prostate cancer. “Right now, I’m talking to my sons about getting screened. It’s important,” says Bourg.
“I would tell any man thinking about getting screened to start the conversation with their doctors. You need to be proactive about your health.”
The American Cancer Society recommends men be aware of the risk factors associated with prostate cancer and discuss screening options with their doctors. Men with average risk should asses their needs for screenings at age 50. Those with higher risk, including those with a family history should start at age 40 or 45.
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center offers free prostate cancer screenings to men 45 and older who have not been screened for prostate cancer in the past 12 months. For a complete calendar of available screenings, click here.
When prostate cancer patient James Morgan talks about his radiation therapy, he recalls the kindness of the staff and the convenience of the treatments. Morgan was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and needed radiation treatments, which were made more comfortable and precise with a brand new, state-of-the-art radiation therapy system – the Elekta Versa HD. The Cancer Center is one of the first facilities in the country to offer this breakthrough technology as part of its recent renovations.
“It’s easy as far as treatment goes; it’s painless. There’s no sensation. There’s no nausea. There’s no burn. It’s very fast and effective,” said Radiation Oncologist Charles Wood, MD.
The Versa HD treatment room was also specially designed to ease a patient’s anxiety. The room includes ambient lighting that changes colors, and patients can watch a video or listen to their favorite music during treatment.