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Newly introduced single fraction radiation therapy treatments have given Allan more tomorrows to live his life to the fullest.

Allan, a spry gentleman in his 80s has a physical twice a year to ensure he is in his best health. Following one of these physicals, Allan’s primary care physician discovered a spot on his lung. In July of 2021, the spot was confirmed to be a tumour. “My doctor told me I had cancer. What a terrible word,” said Allan. “He laid out my treatment plan: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

Allan had recently experienced the highs and lows of a cancer journey while his wife was being treated for lung cancer just a couple of years prior to his own diagnosis. Allan mentally prepared himself for a similar treatment regime – many rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. “I drove her to CancerCare every day for 30 days to get her radiation treatment.”

Allan with his oncologist, Dr. Bashir.

Thanks to your support of local research, Allan qualified to receive a new form of radiation therapy that effectively treated his cancer in just two appointments. “I had just one zap of radiation and then I was done. I couldn’t believe it! I had never heard of that before.”

The pandemic challenged CancerCare Manitoba to establish new ways of delivering radiation therapy while protecting patients from increased risk due to COVID-19. This, and the success of other donor supported lung cancer treatments, led to the development and use of single fraction radiation therapy. The treatment offers some patients the opportunity to reduce their in-person visits and requires only two appointments. Allan was one of the first patients in Manitoba to receive this innovative new treatment which has now become the standard of care for eligible lung cancer patients in our province.

Allan was amazed after his second appointment when he was told he didn’t need to come back. “My doctor was absolutely incredible. To be one of the first facilities in Canada to offer this type of treatment is just amazing. It’s amazing that donors played a role in making this possible.”

Allan is now in remission. His last three scans have shown the treatment was successful and his tumour is no longer visible. Allan spends his days walking his dog, playing golf and travelling. “Every day is a bonus.”

Your commitment to advancing cancer care helps ensure that more discoveries and better ways to treat patients are just around the corner. Your support helps improve patient experiences for your loved ones, friends and neighbours, and all Manitobans affected by cancer.