Monday, August 19, 2013

Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer is the Magic Bullet!

Proton Therapy Journey continues!  


It's been a while since I posted PSA results or moderated thoughts.  Today it has been 5 years and 3 months since my last trip to a proton therapy gantry.  It's been over 6 years ago when my PSA had tripled alarmingly over 8 months at a high of 5.8.  It was mid fall Nov 1, 2007 when I received the dreadful news that I had cancer.   I was then encouraged as a perfect candidate for surgery, or IMRT, brachytherapy or combintaton of IMRT and  brachytherapy.  I was anxious during that time and recall side effects of increased urgency in urination and symptoms of early Erectile dysfunction.  It was a confusing time coping with the diagnosis, facing possible surgery at urologist's recommendation, or some form of radiation.  I was 52 when they symptoms started and 53 when diagnosed.  Urologists and my General Practitioner concurred if untreated at my age or consider watchful waiting I would succumb and die from prostate cancer at an early age. The concept of surgery and its side effects made me sick to my stomach.  You see I never faced any serious illness or past surgery and couldn't fathom the long recovery of possibly only being a shadow of myself after the surgery.   IMRT or some variation was my early thought and yet concerned of its possible outcome.  I investigated Cyberknife and was discouraged even by practitioners then in multiple locations that long term benefits were too early to predict for men my age.     

I discovered proton therapy early on and encouraged by positive reports by thousands of proton patients with organizations like Brotherhood of the Balloon and having fewer side effects and maintaining a normal life.  My urologists indicated it was not readily available and experimental.  Oncologists locally indicated proton was over the top for my cancer and yet they were a branch of MD Anderson and had access to proton.  I forged on and eventually was treated with 45 sessions of PBT over 8 weeks. Being away from home and managing our small business was difficult.  Tracy my loving wife kept all our affairs together during my treatment. Without her support, proton therapy was not possible, and yet she knew the long term benefit. 

 Flash forward today my PSA is now at  .059 !!!...yes that's true.  It dropped even lower over the last year.  Clinically, I am considered cured by my insurance provider and local practitioners.  I even decided after all these years to do a comphrensive bone scan.  Guess what... All clear.   And even more importantly I never had a side effect and my frequent urination disappeared and no signs of Erectile dysfunction.   Never lost any function, no loss of career and no loss of love and affection with my spouse.   


Trip to Beijing with Noah 2012 seeking
Proton funding for US center
Today I have been blessed having travelled extensively globally promoting proton therapy.  I have heard exceptionally powerful stories of conviction of seeking out proton therapy with patients traveling halfway across the globe for proton treatment.  Their stories are mentioned in this Asia blog http://affordableprotontherapy.blogspot.com/ 

So for me proton was the magic bullet.  Is it worth the costs?  Ask the patient.  Good health to all.  Curtis Poling, successfully treated with PBT.  

  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Proton Therapy answers all the problems related to radiation therapy!

Proton Therapy is the future:
Recent released report on proton therapy:  60% of all cancer patients undergo some sort of radiation therapy during their course of treatment. Despite advances in technology for radiation therapy, a majority of these patients suffer from side effects of traditional radiation treatment. Currently prevalent radio therapy methods like X-Ray/IMRT etc. also cost pretty high in the long run.
In this context, Proton Therapy, the latest innovation in the field of radio-oncology,answers all the problems related to radiation therapy. The technology is expected to eventually replace the traditional methods of radiotherapy in the future and thus, holds immense market potential for players in the industry. The report further delves into the anticipated transformation into the competitive landscape due to increase in number of players leading to highly competitive market. Read

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Robot hot among surgeons but FDA taking fresh look

Todays news: 

A New York man whose colon was allegedly perforated during prostate surgery. Da Vinci's maker filed that report after seeing a newspaper article about it and said the doctor's office declined to provide additional information. Read more:

Five years ago I was with treated Proton Therapy for prostate cancer.   No side effects!  Do your due diligence and study your options.  I put a lot of value on minimal side effects and a good quality life.  Please browse my blog and see my story.  Have a great day! 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Proton therapy treatment preserves quality of life for men with prostate cancer

The first, a multi-institutional study, and one of the largest quality of life studies of its kind ever conducted in such a patient population, involved more than 1,000 patients treated with proton therapy for various stages of prostate cancer. The men had all received proton therapy, with or without hormone therapy, at one of five proton therapy centers across the country. All participants were at least one year to more than 10 years post-treatment. 


Two MD Anderson-led studies conclude that patients' urinary, bowel function safe-guarded
Newswise — BOSTON, MA - Two studies led by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found that proton therapy preserves the quality of life, specifically urinary and bowel function, in men treated with this targeted radiation modality for prostate cancer.
Both studies, led by Andrew K. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology, will be presented in a poster session at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).
"As oncologists, we obviously want good cancer control outcomes, but we also want to ensure that patients maintain a strong sense of continued quality of life after treatment, which can be very personal and subjective for each patient," said Lee.
"With this research, we looked at the well being of prostate cancer patients, post-treatment, and it was important that we obtain this information directly from men who actually underwent the therapy, rather than from their treatment providers," Lee continued. "In our own practice, we've observed that patients have done very well as measured by disease control and quality of life metrics. Our findings, both the wider-perspective multicenter study and the research conducted solely at MD Anderson, validate what we observe in our clinic."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Five Years after Proton Therapy

Five years ago I was packing and preparing for the start of my proton journey.    45 sessions of proton therapy and 2.5 months duration seems like a blink of time today.   My recent PSA came in at .61 Now Five years of no side effects and and kicked the cancer in the rear.   My story started when I was 53 years old with a PSA that had tripled in 8 months to a high of 5.8...you can read my start of prostate cancer journey here. I was lucky to discover the cancer early and move on it. The proton beam spared me so much from side effects, and now, what great peace of mind to see this new low number. I feel great never lost any functions, sexuality and never suffered through the treatment and recovery process. How amazing is that.!  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PSA four years after Proton Beam Therapy


Four years ago I started my first week of proton therapy at Loma Linda Medical University. I was 53 years old with a PSA that had tripled in 8 months to a high of 5.8...you can read my start of prostate cancer journey here. I was lucky to discover the cancer early and move on it. Today as I am so happy to report a new lower PSA of .68! The proton beam spared me so much from side effects, and now, what great peace of mind to see this new low number. I feel great never lost any functions, sexuality and never suffered through the treatment and recovery process. How wonderful is that!

If you are starting your cancer journey take time to read this blog. You do not have to expose yourself or compromise quality of life and or lifestyle with proton. With 37 (9 in the US) total proton centers in the US and abroad with 11 planned and over 73,800 treated, you owe it to yourself and your family to at least review the benefits of PBT.

Thanks to all the health care providers, National Association of Proton Therapy and the father of proton utilizing the Bragg peak by Dr. Robert R. Wilson in 1946 for making this therapy a reality.

The debate will go on for the healthcare community for proton beam therapy effectiveness and costs. And so did the use of radium back in 1913 to treat cancer, and so did xray tubes in 1922, and high energy xray machines by GE in 1937, Cobalt in 1951, and so did LINAC and Gamma knife technology, then on to 70s with 3D, IGRT and IMRT. Protons today are sparing life changing side effects while curing cancer. In my view as a past patient it is todays best chance at treating a localized cancer tumors and another milestone in saving lives in radiation history.

Go Protons!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Proton Therapy: A beam of hope for so many in 2012!

Until 1990 all proton therapy was delivered in high-energy, physics-research laboratories. Loma Linda University Medical Center and James M. Slater, changed that. Dr. Slater's major field of interest prior to becoming a physician was physics. Therefore, he was already aware of the clinical interest in protons and other heavy charged particles.

In 1990, after almost 20 years of research, Loma Linda University Medical Center, in cooperation with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Proton Therapy Cooperative Group, opened the world's first hospital-based proton-beam accelerator dedicated to the treatment of patients with cancer. Though not a cure for all forms of cancer, it has become a major advancement in the treatment of "localized cancer," a malignant tumor that is still in its original site and has not yet spread throughout the body.

Today 11 (9 US, 2 international...NCC Seoul and Rinicker Center Munich) centers are recognized as destinations for proton beam therapy for treatment. Read more here at the National Proton Therapy Organization. 7 centers are now in construction or development within the US. Over 90,000 have been treated with proton beam therapy. There are many support white papers and 15 year clinical studies published in support of proton (you will find most here on this blog). Most insurance carries approve this FDA approved treatment. If not insured you will find some US centers with a cash out of pocket program or travel abroad to NCC Seoul or Rinicher Center for affordable treatment costs.

If you have discovered PBT you are fortunate and have taken charge of your treatment decsion. Please read the many posts here. This may just give you a peace of mind in your cancer journey. Best of health to all!


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