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Patient's helmet cam video gives first-hand look at cancer treatment

For immediate release: July 16, 2012

Sandra Larson, 970.237.7105,

Patient’s helmet cam video gives first-hand look at cancer treatment

A new helmet camera video from University of Colorado Health lets the public see first-hand what a patient sees during cancer treatment.

In the video, currently posted on YouTube, a prostate cancer patient wears his doctor’s ski helmet with an attached GoPro video camera so that others can see what cancer treatment with the TrueBeam STx linear accelerator is like. The video appears to be the first of its kind on YouTube.

[ Watch the video. ]

The patient filmed his treatment during the third of his nine weeks of radiation therapy. The GoPro camera captures a 180-degree view and is often used in adventure or travel filming. The patient’s video gives the perspective of what it is like to walk in his shoes for a typical treatment day.

The patient was one of the first to be treated with Poudre Valley Hospital Radiation Oncology’s new TrueBeam STx, a technology that delivers external beam radiation to destroy cancer cells. The TrueBeam STx is the most advanced linear accelerator currently available. Poudre Valley Hospital has the only TrueBeam STx in Colorado.

The three-minute video shows scenes from one of the patient’s 45 daily appointments.

“Everybody’s visual these days,” said the patient, who requested anonymity. “It’s just so simple to add a camera to me so that other people can see what they may need to go through, and the fact that it’s really easy and simple and nothing to be afraid of.”

The patient had the idea for the video because he was surprised that the treatments had become relatively routine and much faster than he had anticipated. The actual radiation was just a few minutes, with the remaining time used for the high-precision imaging system to localize the prostate for each treatment.

In the video, Dr. Josh Petit, PVH Radiation Oncology medical director, narrates his patient’s CAT scan being done in preparation for delivering his radiation treatment. The CAT scan is part of the TrueBeam STx’s image-guidance technology, which delivers real-time imaging to achieve pinpoint radiation beam accuracy during every treatment.

Dr. Petit said his patient was happy to educate other patients.

“This way he can help take away the uncertainty or hesitancy others might have,” Dr. Petit said.

The TrueBeam STx is part of a $7.1 million expansion to PVH’s Radiation Oncology Department. The department is part of Poudre Valley Cancer Network that offers comprehensive services for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

In addition to radiation oncology, Poudre Valley Cancer Network offers regional medical oncology clinics and infusion centers in four locations in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley. Support and survivorship services including patient navigation, oncology counseling, support groups, nutrition counseling, clinical trials and cancer physical therapy and rehabilitation are also provided.

Poudre Valley Cancer Network is currently finalizing designs for its new cancer center at Harmony Campus in Fort Collins.

--University of Colorado Health--

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