Survive and Thrive: Lifesaving Cancer Treatment with CyberKnife | Life

Surviving cancer is a difficult journey for all patients. Staying positive in the face of uncertainty when your health is at stake is a challenge, but Lillian Clarke refuses to let cancer get her down. Her optimistic outlook on life remains strong despite a seven-year journey through breast, kidney and brain cancer.

“God lifted me up and carried me through,” Clarke says. “For me, living life is just as important as beating cancer, so having treatment close to home was amazing. I never felt like a ‘cancer patient‘. I went to my appointments and then I continued the rest of my day.

The Sea Island resident especially appreciates having the Southeast Georgia health system so close to home due to her previous experience of traveling out of town for treatment. Several years ago, she traveled to Atlanta for surgery. “Driving in Atlanta made an already difficult experience even more difficult,” says Clarke. Since then, the health system has provided Clarke’s treatment and follow-up care.

An easy experience during a difficult time

Throughout her early cancer journey, battling breast and kidney cancer within the healthcare system, Clarke received radiation and immunotherapy treatments at the infusion center and was seen regularly by Timothy A Jamieson, MD, Ph.D., board-certified radiation oncologist and medical director. of the CyberKnife program. However, when her kidney cancer metastasized to her brain, Clarke was relieved to discover she was a perfect candidate for the CyberKnife® robotic radiosurgery system.

Unlike traditional cancer treatment, CyberKnife uses non-surgical technology to deliver a high dose of radiation to tumors. The technology’s extreme precision makes it particularly beneficial for patients with complex or inoperable tumors, as CyberKnife only targets the tumor, leaving healthy brain tissue surrounding the tumor intact.

“For Lillian, CyberKnife has been particularly beneficial,” says Jamieson. “We targeted her brain tumors in several short sessions, producing amazing results without affecting her daily routine or inducing any unpleasant side effects, such as hair loss, headaches or cognitive issues. Lillian is still the same Lillian, enjoying life to the fullest.

In addition to brain tumors, CyberKnife also treats a variety of tumors throughout the body, including prostate, lung, pancreas, colon, liver, ovary, uterus, certain breast cancers, and more.

“We are so lucky to have such an innovative treatment here in our small community,” says Clarke. “After half a decade of battling cancer, I have to say that CyberKnife is the coolest thing in the world: a very simple experience with no side effects. I would show up for my appointment and be done in a few minutes! Not to mention that Dr. Jamieson is a gift from God. He has been with me every step of the way. With him as my doctor, I know I am in good hands.

Clarke’s praise also extends to other health system personnel, including nurses and radiation therapists.

“All the doctors and nurses are great,” says Clarke. “I couldn’t have had better care.”

Clarke is a living miracle: not only did she survive breast, kidney and brain cancer, but she did so with grace, positivity and with her spirit intact. Throughout her treatment, she remained actively involved with family, friends and community volunteerism. Eventually, she also hopes to get back to her seven-mile walking routine.

“I spent many years pounding the pavement, and while I haven’t quite retained the stamina of my youth, brain cancer treatment hasn’t stopped me from living my life,” Clarke said. “I continue to shop and carry out my daily routine. More importantly, I always enjoy my days at the beach, which I love. I’m just blessed to be here.

To make an appointment at the Southeast Georgia Health System Cancer Care Center, call 912-466-5100.

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