As the most common of all cancers, skin cancer is a disease that has touched the lives of many. Although melanoma accounts for less than two percent of skin cancer cases in the U.S., it is the most dangerous form of the disease and accounts for a large majority of skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.
Dale Gipson is among those whose life has been impacted by the disease. The 80-year-old Nevada resident recalls experiencing symptoms that led him to seek the perspective of an urologist.
“I had a biopsy done which showed I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer,” he said. “This led to subsequent tests to determine if I had cancer elsewhere in my body, and in fact, we discovered I had stage IV melanoma that had spread to my lung, stomach and brain.”
Following his diagnosis, Gipson underwent a series of immune-building drug treatments to treat the metastatic tumors in his stomach and lung. While undergoing immunotherapy, he learned about CyberKnife and its applications for treating brain tumors.
CyberKnife is an advanced technology that can treat metastatic tumors that develop in the brain or lungs from the spread of malignant melanoma. CyberKnife delivers extremely precise, large doses of radiation to tumors within five or fewer outpatient treatments and does not involve surgery or sedation.
Once the course of immunotherapy for the tumors in his stomach and lung was complete, Gipson decided to undergo CyberKnife treatment to treat the metastatic tumor in his brain. He met with Dr. Jonathan Tay and Dr. Jaime Shuff, both radiation oncologists at Reno CyberKnife, to review the details of his case and determine an optimal treatment plan.
Gipson’s treatment plan included a single CyberKnife treatment session that lasted about an hour.
“Considering my brain was being treated, the procedure was very easy and there was no cutting,” Gipson said. “I’ve raved about CyberKnife to many people.”
While he continues to undergo hormone therapy to treat his prostate cancer and manage his PSA level, Gipson’s brain tumor disappeared following CyberKnife treatment and has not grown back. The tumors in his stomach and lung also have not returned.
For now, Gipson says he’s happy to be alive and enjoying time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. “I try to stay active,” he said. “My wife and I enjoy going on cruises. We’ve been on four cruises since my initial diagnosis about four years ago.”
To learn more about metastatic cancer and how it is treated with CyberKnife, please click here.