For Canton's George Drennan, his 2006 diagnosis of early stage prostate cancer left him with some unsavory treatment options.
"The Oncologist proposed radiation treatment or surgery," Drennan said. "I wasn't too keen on either."
Drennan was ucomfortable with the "one size fits all" treatment options given to him. Instead of feeling like another nameless patient getting a pre-programmed treatment, Drennan began to search for non invasive methods of treating his cancer. As his cancer was in an early stage, Drennan admits he had the luxury of time when searching for his alternative.
Drennan's brother-in-law, a colon cancer survivor, told him about the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Drennan went to Tulsa, OK and was given a battery of tests to determine his specific treatment plan.
"For me, knowing that my doctors' full attention was on me and that they were looking out for me was a big help," Drennan said.
Drennan's treatment involved shooting high dosages of radiation directly into the prostate to destroy the cancer cells. He credits the staff of Cancer Treatment Centers of America for making him feel like he was just having an extended physical examination and not a treatment for a life-threatening disease.
Apart from radiation treatments, Drennan was able to join support groups to share his experiences and gain strength from his peers. Additionally, he was set up with a nutritionist that suggested diet changes that would help him fight his cancer and be healthier in the future.
None of this support would be useful without a positive mental attitude, Drennan said. "If you think cancer's gonna get you, you've halfway lost the battle. If you think cancer's not gonna get you, that's one of the biggest things you can do to fight cancer." Drennan adopted the attitude that his cancer was going to have to change its life to accommodate him, instead of the other way around.
Drennan, who is now cancer free, wants to share his experiences and strength with those who are still battling the disease. He was on hand to celebrate the grand opening of Cancer Treatment Center of America's newest facility in Newnan, and told Canton-Sixes Patch the one thing he would say to doctors and patients who are battling cancer.
"People with cancer want to feel like all the doctors attention is focused solely on their health and benefit. Doctors should treat the patient like you would want to be treated; if the roles were reversed, the doctors would want to know patients were working for them."
Drennan also gave advice to the family and friends of those battling the disease, saying that people with cancer shouldn't be treated any differently than they were treated before the diagnosis.
"You can be sympathetic, but you can also let sympathy destroy the patient with constant heapings of pity."
For cancer patients, Drennan reiterated that a positive attitude was essential to a successful treatment.
It's not a death sentence. It's something that with good medical treatment and a positive attitude and support with family and friends you can beat. It's not a brick wall, you can get through this. You have to say to yourself, “Im gonna fight, and I'm gonna win.” That's better than half the battle right there.