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Patient Stories

Leading-Edge Technology Yields Powerful Results

Dick Bailey, at the age of 70, is at his desk by 6:30 a.m. and goes "non-stop," as he says, for the rest of the day. When he's not working, the longtime Nahant resident enjoys an active social life with his wife, Suzanne. Given his vigorous lifestyle, Bailey was surprised to learn in April 2005 that he had prostate cancer. Bailey's diagnosis began during a routine examination with his primary care physician, John Szymanski, M.D. A standard blood test known as a PSA showed an elevated level of a protein called prostate-specific antigen. A subsequent biopsy by NSMC urologist Anthony Filoso, M.D., confirmed the presence of cancer cells in Bailey's prostate gland. Bailey next consulted with radiation oncologist Derek Chism, M.D., and the care team at the NSMC Cancer Center.

Dr. Chism evaluated both the aggressiveness of Bailey's cancer and his overall health and determined that he was an ideal candidate for intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT. This sophisticated cancer-fighting technology enables radiation oncologists and radiation therapists not only to tailor the shape of individual radiation beams to the shape of a tumor but also to change the intensity of each individual beam. This highly precise customization means that stronger and more effective doses of radiation can be delivered to cancer cells while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue, reducing the likelihood of complications. Bailey was happy to be able to receive such leading-edge therapy without having to leave the North Shore. He completed 38 treatments over seven-and-a-half weeks at the NSMC Cancer Center in Peabody. Today, Bailey is feeling great. He hasn't skipped a beat, and his golf bag is packed and ready for another season.