"The patient is also responsible for his recovery." This is the lesson that Josep has learned after having overcome an ocular melanoma that was unexpectedly diagnosed in an eye check-up: "As I am short-sighted and years ago I suffered a tear in the retina, I had to undergo regular controls. However, I was spacing them until my glasses broke and I had to make an appointment." In the check-up, his ophthalmologist from Tarragona made a first diagnosis and considered it appropriate to refer his case to the Ocular Oncology Unit of the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre.
Josep was quickly seen by Dr. Javier Elizalde, vitreous retina surgeon and specialist in intraocular tumours, who confirmed the diagnosis and decided to treat the tumour with brachytherapy, a highly specialized local radiotherapy technique in which a radioactive plate is inserted in the eye and, once the stipulated radiation time has elapsed, it is removed under local anaesthesia. In the case of Josep, due to the size and location of the tumour, the space to place this plate was minimal, but the treatment was successful. But more than going through the operating room twice, to put and remove the plate, the hardest thing for Josep was to stay several days in the centre, since the treatment also required an exhaustive follow-up.
One of the aspects that Josep remembers with more affection of those days was the human and professional quality of the center. "I came to the Barraquer Center because I had and I have absolute confidence, it is for me the best centre in the world and, of course, Dr. Elizalde has been the best surgeon who could have treated me. " However, Josep also realized the great responsibility we have as patients: medical work is of no use if we do not undergo eye check-ups, follow treatments or if we do not maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The recover after treatment has been a success. Now, a year later, the tumour is in a clear process of regression and Josep, who has not lost quality of vision, can do the same life as before. The only thing that has changed is that Josep is very clear that he will not delay any ophthalmological check-up never again.