State-of-the-Art Radiation Oncology on Madison's East Side
Cancer patient Robert Comyne (right) with Dr. Greg Cooley (left) and wife Diane.
Robert Comyne felt a pain in his chest during an aerobics class. Thinking he'd pulled a muscle, he ignored it for a few weeks until he sneezed, and "it felt like somebody put a sword through my right lung."
A scan revealed Stage 4 lung cancer.
The diagnosis came three years after Comyne's wife, Diane, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He wanted the same level of care she received through UW Health.
"Her care was fantastic," Comyne says. "She's breathing well, and there are hardly any signs of cancer right now."
Comyne selected the same doctors—Dr. Greg Cooley, UW Health radiation oncologist, and Dr. David Hei, UW Health medical oncologist—and expected to have to drive from his Sun Prairie home to the UW Health Radiation Oncology Clinic at University Hospital for radiation treatments, as he and his wife had done when she was being treated.
Thanks to a newly installed, state-of-the-art linear accelerator and high-precision imaging technology at the UW Health East Clinic, Comyne was able to receive the same sophisticated level of treatment that his wife received, but at a much more convenient location.
This new technology enables Dr. Cooley to shape the radiation dose profile with remarkable precision to Comyne's tumor, and limit dose to surrounding normal tissues, thereby reducing side effects.
Before this new equipment was installed, Dr. Cooley treated patients with highly-complex treatment plans at University Hospital. Now, he's able to offer the benefits of the Radiation Oncology Clinic at University Hospital at the UW Health East Clinic.
While Sun Prairie doesn't seem too far from the UW campus, the distances and travel time add up when the appointments are frequent. Both Comynes are in their early 70s, and Diane has other health conditions in addition to cancer that require many medical appointments. Less time spent getting to and from radiation treatments has been a welcome relief, Comyne says.
"Taking my wife to campus and dealing with the parking, construction and traffic was hectic," Comyne says. "It was nice to have appointments close to home for a change."
Reducing the travel time to and from radiation treatments has given the Comynes more time to do the things they like to do, such dining at restaurants, going to area casinos and socializing with friends.
"I fight this cancer as much as I can, and we try to get out and do what we can," Comyne says.
Date Published: 11/30/2016