Knoxville man receives radiation treatment for prostate cancer

Knoxville man receives radiation treatment tomotherapy for prostate cancer

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"Oh, I was shocked. You know, I just, not me, you know. I just had a sense of panic about it. I didn't know much about prostate cancer," John Hungerford said. "Oh, I was shocked. You know, I just, not me, you know. I just had a sense of panic about it. I didn't know much about prostate cancer," John Hungerford said.
Dr. Daniel Scaperoth, radiation oncologist at Thompson, says tomotherapy is just one of many treatment options for prostate cancer. Dr. Daniel Scaperoth, radiation oncologist at Thompson, says tomotherapy is just one of many treatment options for prostate cancer.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The latest numbers show one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but there is a silver lining.

Prostate cancer is slow-moving compared to many other cancers.

Just ask John Hungerford. It was seven years ago that he got the diagnosis every man fears. Hungerford remembers his reaction.

"Oh, I was shocked. You know, I just, not me, you know. I just had a sense of panic about it. I didn't know much about prostate cancer," he said.

Hungerford, who taught engineering at the University of Tennessee for 23 years, started researching and decided to come to Thompson Cancer Survival Center for help.

He elected to have tomotherapy, a type of radiation therapy that targets only the cancerous cells, not the healthy tissue around them.

Dr. Daniel Scaperoth, radiation oncologist at Thompson, says tomotherapy is just one of many treatment options for prostate cancer.

"I can talk for an hour and give them eight or ten different things they can do," Dr. Scaperoth said.

John had 39 treatments and is cancer free today, but gets regular checkups including digital rectal exams and the PSA test. Dr. Scaperoth says every man needs a PSA test starting at age 50, and earlier if there is a family history of prostate cancer.

The PSA test is a blood test to show if there are elevated levels of prostate specific antigen, which may indicate cancer.

There has been controversy over when and how often to get the PSA test because of over-treatment concerns.

Be sure to check with your doctor on when to have the test.

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