HealthWatch: SpaceOAR Hydrogel

Green Bay (WFRV) The American Cancer Society estimates more than 160-thousand men will get  prostate cancer in the United States this year. 
    
There can be many side effects associated with treating prostate cancer.

Aurora Baycare Medical Center recently became the first hospital in Wisconsin certified to use an innovative new technology that helps combat the negative side effects associated with treating prostate cancer.

Music has always been a big part of Michael Heier's life. He still rocks the drums with two local bands, including The Kolache Brothers, "It's in the blood. My father was a drummer so i just it was a god's gift," said Michael Heier, prostate cancer survivor.

In June, Michael was diagnosed with stage two prostate cancer. He went to radiation oncologist Dr. David Rohde at Aurora BayCare Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic, "His options were for either a surgical option or a radiation option," said Dr. David Rohde, radiation oncologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Removing the prostate - has the risk of side effects, "The cons are you can have incontinence afterward and impotence is significantly higher than radiation as well," said Dr. Rohde.

Radiation treatment exposes the bladder and rectum to some radiation- which could cause chronic bladder damage and more, "Because the rectum particularly is so close to the prostate there is a higher risk for chronic rectal damage, said Dr. Rohde "Erectile dysfunction can happen with either seed implant or external seed radiation." 

Michael chose radiation-- plus a new technology called SpaceOAR hydrogel- which is injected into the tissue between the prostate and rectum, "you inject these two liquids in there and when they mix they expand and form a gel foam between the rectum and the prostate," explained Dr. Rohde.

Which increases the distance from the radiation to the rectum, "You're increasing the distance from these organs and so there is much less radiation exposure to the organ," said Dr. Rohde.

Protecting your tissues, "They found a 66-percent decreased risk for rectal problems after radiation in the people who had space oar, they also found a 65-percent decrease of bladder issues and a 78-percent decrease risk for sexual disfunction," said Dr. Rohde.
 
Michael began radiation in August, "No side effects or nothing," said Michael.

Michael is now cancer free-  allowing him to continue rockin' it- on stage and at home, "Yard work, band work, rehearsals, I take my dog for a walk all the time," Michael said happily.

SpaceOAR hydrogel disintegrates from the body within six months. 

Dr. Rohde was the first doctor in Wisconsin to be certified to use SpaceOAR hydrogel. Aurora BayCare is the only hospital in our area offering it. 

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email healthwatch@aurorabaycare.com


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