Husband, School Bus Driver and Prostate Cancer Survivor
West Amwell, NJ
Joseph Ferguson, 62, of West Amwell, NJ, has a history of cancer in his family—two sisters and two brothers have had cancer. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was 7.64. Men with prostate cancer often have PSA levels higher than four.
“I knew about the traditional treatment options, but because my [PSA] level was so high, I wanted to look for the most advanced treatment option available,” Ferguson said.
What he found was the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System at Capital Health. Soon after, he made an appointment to speak with one of the CyberKnife-trained physicians at Capital Health.
After speaking with his urologist and the CyberKnife specialists at Capital Health, he learned that he was indeed a candidate for CyberKnife radiosurgery. He also learned that the treatment is faster than most traditional options and can have fewer side effects than conventional radiation for prostate cancer. CyberKnife uses a combination of robotics and image-guidance technology to deliver the precise targeted dose of radiation.
Now, one year after only five outpatient visits, his PSA level is down to a safer 1.97.
“I was surprised by how fast the recovery was and how quickly my level dropped,” Ferguson said. “Now that I’ve discovered this level of technology that’s this effective for prostate cancer, I want to help spread the word so that other men who are facing diagnoses similar to mine know that this type of new treatment is available.”
According to Dr. Shirnett Williamson, medical director of Radiation Oncology Services at Capital Health, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes and she stresses the importance of prostate cancer screenings.
“Combined with a program that offers free prostate cancer screenings, Capital Health’s Regional Cancer Center is the only cancer program in central New Jersey that offers all prostate cancer treatment options,” said Williamson. “CyberKnife prostate treatments are completely non-invasive, pain-free and can be completed in as little as five outpatient visits.”
Ferguson, who retired from Verizon, is a part-time driver for an excavation firm and substitute school bus driver.
“I went back to work right away, which is what I liked about this treatment,” he said. “I think more people should know about it.”