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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

[ Edited ]

Prostate Cancer - If you, your spouse, or anyone you know has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I want you to know that there is an alternative to surgery or damaging types of radiation therapy.  It's called proton therapy.   But it's not for everybody...the cancer must be confined to the prostate, and there is a time commitment involved, as well as possible financial commitments.  Most insurances will cover this treatment option, though.  

 

Please Google any term referencing protons or proton therapy as a treatment option for prostate cancer.  Proton therapy has been available in a hospital setting for over 20 years now in the United States, but the chances are good that your doctor will never tell you about this option for treating your prostate cancer (or that of a loved one). 

 

I've interviewed over 150 men with prostate cancer diagnoses.  Out of them all, only one man's doctor told him that proton therapy was an option for the treatment of his prostate cancer.  Surgeons recommended surgery, and radiation oncologists recommended radiation.  As there are a limited number of facilities offering proton treatment, this option was never mentioned to 149/150 of the men I've spoken with.  

 

Most of the men I've spoken with were made aware of this treatment option by searching for treatment solutions themselves on the internet. Most also received negative opinions from their doctors when asked about protons as a viable treatment option. 

 

The Mayo Clinic has recently announced that it is building two separate facilites for proton treatment, at a cost of over $385 million.  This is after years of clinical studies to prove effectiveness of treatment.  There are eight other operating proton facilities in the US as of this time (Mayo Clinic's facilities may take another two years to get up and running).

 

This is not an ad of any kind, for any one place or for any one type of treatment.  It's a heads up for anyone suffering the anguish of how to deal with prostate cancer.  You need to know all of the options available to you, including proton therapy treatments, and then evaluate them for yourself. 

 

Sometimes, the treatments offered are much worse for the quality of your life than the disease itself, and there are better alternatives if you look for them.

 

For anyone here affected by prostate cancer, please feel free to PM me at any time.

 


 

Disclaimer:  I'm not a doctor.  Do not take any advice I offer.    But don't just accept a doctor's advice, either.  Do your own homework, ask questions, and get as many opinions as you can from professionals...research things on your own.    You've got to decide things for yourself, but I'll be happy to share my personal experiences at any time.  Your treatment decision affects the rest of your life.

 

 

 

P.S.  This is not a cut-and-paste article from anywhere.  I wrote this myself, today.  It's a "pay it forward", as well as a "pay back for prayers answered".  So, now you know.

 

 

Note:  I've edited my original post somewhat for greater searchability, in hopes that this message gets out to as many folks as possible who are looking for treatment alternatives.     

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Moderator Emerita
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007

Re: Prostate Cancer - If you, your spouse, or anyone you know has been diagnosed with it.

Wow, what a wonderful decision to post this here! So that's where you've been. I don't know about anyone else Smiley Wink, but I'm delighted you're back, and doing well.

 

I'm adding this to my files.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

 

Just an addendum: as many of you are aware, I do medical records for the VA, meaning that I read an awful lot of medical notes, and the overwhelming majority are on male patients. Nearly every one of them declines a rectal exam by their provider, and unfortunately, I see too many of them later diagnosed with advanced prostate CA.

 

Guys, guys, this exam might not be the most fun thing on earth (although I can assure you that it ain't nuthin' compared to what we women have to put up with), but it can save your life. No one likes discomfort, and no one wants to think about getting diagnosed with cancer*, but in most cases, prostate CA is slow-growing and can be controlled if caught early enough. Bite the bullet, and let your doctor check you out.

 

Do it for the people who love you, if for no other reason!

 

* The bit about "no one wants to think about getting diagnosed with cancer"? That goes for women, too. Do your breast self-exams, and get your Pap smears (ouch) and mammograms (ouch ouch) done. Don't ever let the fear of the unknown keep you from doing what you know you need to do.

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Moderator
Posts: 17,419
Registered: ‎07-14-2009

Re: Prostate Cancer - If you, your spouse, or anyone you know has been diagnosed with it.

Hi UBUP,

 

I appreciate you writing all this. I started to say that it must have been hard but then I thought no.......it might actually be cathartic for you.

 

I'm also glad to have you back. I kept waiting and waiting for you to log back on.  Smiley Happy

 

 

Moderator Emerita
Posts: 3,091
Registered: ‎08-09-2008

Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

Thanks so much for posting this UBUP!

 

And, I'm so very glad to see you back here! Smiley Happy

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Re: Prostate Cancer - If you, your spouse, or anyone you know has been diagnosed with it.

[ Edited ]

 


haulingthescoreup wrote:

 

Guys, guys, this exam might not be the most fun thing on earth (although I can assure you that it ain't nuthin' compared to what we women have to put up with), but it can save your life. No one likes discomfort, and no one wants to think about getting diagnosed with cancer*, but in most cases, prostate CA is slow-growing and can be controlled if caught early enough. Bite the bullet, and let your doctor check you out.

 


 

Hauling, it was almost too late for me.  Almost.

 

For men who don't want the rectal exam, at least get the PSA testing done.  It's a blood test, and you're going to have that anyways if you're getting a routine checkup, so have the Doc add that PSA test to his list of things to do with your bloodwork. 

 

My prostate was pretty normal on the DRE, but my PSA was absolutely through the roof.  The biopsy confirmed cancer.

 

I wasn't going to do anything about it because I didn't like the idea of likely incontinence and/or impotence.  I think that's what stops most guys from even checking, the fact that once he knows he's got cancer, he has to make a decision that could ruin his quality of life, permanently. 

 

Fortunately, in most cases, proton therapy has minimal (if any) side effects, and certainly not the ones I mentioned above.  (Emphasis on "in most cases"...there aren't any guarantees for any treatments).

 

I'm just fine, a little tired still, but everything's working! Smiley Happy  The most difficult part of the proton treatment was discovering it in the first place, and I believe I had some help from the Guy Upstairs in that regard.

 

 

Thanks, Hauling, Marine and LilMirth  (and others) for the welcome back.  Smiley Happy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,783
Registered: ‎03-11-2009

UP,Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

UBUP, 

 

Thanks for posting this, I have never heard of it either.  My doctors always include a PSA test yearly.  I am glad that you found out in time and that you are doing well.  I hope and pray that  you reach 100% full recovery soon. 

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Posts: 5,703
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: UP,Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

+1000

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Re: UP,Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

Hey, hotrod and marty!  Good to see you, and thanks!

 

Like I said, I'm just a little tired still, and I believe most of that is from being totally stressed for months on end, and now the pressure's off...maybe it's like a post-traumatic thing?  

 

Aside from that, there really wasn't anything to recover from.  I've been at (or close to) 100% during and after the proton therapy treatments.

 

I was on a "radiation vacation"...that's what most of my fellow patients called it. 

 

I played golf at some of the best courses on the West coast, went sightseeing (a lot!), swam frequently at California's beautiful beaches (in the winter, no less...great for someone from New England).  I dined at an ecclectic array of restaurants, gambled in Vegas (had to force myself to do that...yeah, right), and much, much more. 

 

I also made a lot of new friends, most of whom were engineers, physicians (yes, they were there as patients), lawyers, CEOs of major corporations, analysts, etc...all of whom had that same mindset as I do.  Each of them investigated all of the options they were told about, and then kept going and found the options that they were not  told about, including the proton therapy we were all there to receive. 

 

These men made their choice after examining all of the data available to them. 

 

That made me feel a whole lot better about my decision for receiving proton therapy, 'cause each one of these men was much more educated than I am, and undoubtedly smarter, too.  (Well, maybe or maybe not...but definitely more educated!)

 

But I'm still better looking...and taller...so there!  Smiley Very Happy

 

 

 

 

Administrator Emeritus
Posts: 4,444
Registered: ‎03-01-2007

Re: UP,Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

So very glad to have U back, UBUP!!!  Smiley Happy

Formerly consumer affairs manager, media spokesman and myFICO Forums community manager at FICO, I'm now freelance writing for CreditCards.com and my own site, SpeakingOfCredit.com.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,708
Registered: ‎10-16-2008

Re: UP,Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments

Thank you, Barry!

 

It's great to be here again!!

 

 

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