LANDLORD EDWARD Boynton is back behind the bar pulling pints, only days after becoming the 3,000th patient to undergo a specialist procedure in Yorkshire to treat prostate cancer.
Mr Boynton, 62, who runs the Nag’s Head at Pickhill, near Thirsk, was diagnosed with the condition following a routine check.
He was advised to have brachytherapy, which was pioneered in the UK in Leeds in 1995 with surgery on a patient who is still alive today.
The approach is a type of radiation treatment which experts say has significant benefits in quality of life compared to alternatives, but is frequently overlooked as an option for patients.
Tiny radioactive seeds about the size of a grain of rice are placed with pinpoint precision into or alongside tumour tissue to reduce the risk of damage to healthy cells.
The seeds remain permanently in place, emitting very low doses of radiation for several months until none remain and they become inactive.
Cancer specialist Ann Henry, of St James’s Hospital in Leeds, said: “You could call low dose rate brachytherapy the ‘unsung hero’ of prostate cancer treatment because the standard NHS referral routes to a surgeon mean that some patients who are suited to receive the treatment don’t really consider it as an option.”
Since the first operation nearly two decades ago, other centres in the UK have been set up using the technique which is normally takes about an hour, with patients heading home the same day.
After treatment, patients return for monitoring of treatment and to assess tumour reduction.
Some patients with more advanced disease need their prostate removed and also chemotherapy which can have long-lasting effects including permanent damage to sexual and bladder functions.