Tri-Cities Cancer Center treats CEO for common benign disease wi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Cancer Center treats CEO for common benign disease with low dose of radiation

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Now, with a low dose of radiation over the course of a specific treatment schedule, DeGooyer hopes to become completely free of the disease he says plays a factor in the quality of life. DeGooyer claims his disease is nothing compared to what cancer patie Now, with a low dose of radiation over the course of a specific treatment schedule, DeGooyer hopes to become completely free of the disease he says plays a factor in the quality of life. DeGooyer claims his disease is nothing compared to what cancer patie

KENNEWICK, WA- The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is treating one of their own for the benign Dupuytren's disease. It is a condition more common than you might think, which can cause your fingers to get pulled into your palms.

The most recent success in treatment is a small dose of radiation in the early stages. Doctor Guy Jones, who is a radiation oncologist is treating the CEO of the Cancer Center right now for this disease.  

"Working with a hammer, pulling off wood, putting on new wood, hammering. As you grip, you feel something in the palm of your hand," CEO Chuck DeGooyer explained his condition. DeGooyer had been working on a pump shed when he noticed the discomfort, "Things just happen as you age, so you adjust, you get used to it and you don't think anything of it".

Little did he know, the trauma of hammering activates the disease cells in his hand, known as Dupuytren's disease. "Over time it can cause contracture of the fingers to the point where they can get all the way into the palm of the hand," Doctor Jones explained.

"Because of that it was a very short time that I noticed not one, then two, three, then five. I have five different nodules in my hand," DeGooyer said.

DeGooyer happened to be sitting in on a presentation Doctor Jones conducted about the disease before he realized what the problem was. "It's fascinating, if I hadn't recruited Doctor Jones we probably wouldn't have talked about it even though its now something that is becoming more and more common," DeGooyer explained. He immediately went to Doctor Jones after the presentation, who says he noticed DeGooyer would rub his hand but never mentioned anything much about it. Doctor Jones explained DeGooyer showed him his palm saying, "Hey, you know, this is odd". Jones said, "I felt it and I knew initially, immediately what it was."

When DeGooyer addressed his staff about adopting the treatments for Dupuytren's patients, he explained he would become one himself. He remembers the look on their faces, recalling, "I asked why are you nervous? I am just another one of your patients. I want to see how we go about treating out patients."

Now, with a low dose of radiation over the course of a specific treatment schedule, DeGooyer hopes to become completely free of the disease he says plays a factor in the quality of life. DeGooyer claims his disease is nothing compared to what cancer patients are going through. 

Before radiation became an option for treatment, surgery was the only option. For more information on the Tri-Cities Cancer Center click here. For more information on Dupuytren's disease, click here.

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