Avera Medical Minute: New Machine Targets Cancer in Aberdeen

By  | 

Randy Pfutzenreuter is a former NASA engineer who loves to talk about science and space at an Aberdeen museum exhibit he helped to create. With his help in designing parts of the Mars Rover and working on a portion of an Apollo 15 mission, his vast knowledge was very helpful when it was time to choose where to receive cancer treatment.

New machine targets cancer in Aberdeen

He believes the best treatment for prostate cancer is just a short drive away from home. Avera St. Luke's in Aberdeen. A charitable grant paved the way for a new precise machine.

"We have a brand new radiation machine called a linear accelerator, and it has the capability of delivering the radiation therapy in a very precise and conformal way," says Dr. Kathleen Schneekloth, Avera Radiation Oncologist.

This technology delivers several benefits. "We have with our new machine, the ability to treat patients in the same fashion as larger metropolitan centers," said Dr. Schneekloth.

This equates to treatment closer to come, less travel-related stress, and being in a familiar area near family and friends.

Randy says he made the best of each of his radiation treatments. "You know I really didn't mind it. It was ten minutes of relaxation," said Pfutzenreuter. "Toward the end, I would almost fall asleep."

He is grateful for the science that detected cancer, the expertise of the machine helping him fight, and the personal touch of those who have helped. "Through the medical expertise of the doctors, the physicists, the therapists, the nurses, even the receptionists, it's a team effort here," said Pfutzenreuter. "It a life-saving experience for me. I feel great, I have a normal life."