Re: Prostate Cancer - Consider Proton Therapy Treatments[ Edited ]
06-15-2011 03:08 PM - edited 06-16-2011 06:52 AM
Thanks for posting that article, Hopelives2! I expect the debate over cost vs. benefits, effectiveness of modalities of treatment, etc. will go on for quite a while. For me, and I'm sure for your child, too, the debate is over. I thank God every day that I learned about proton therapy, and that I was finally accepted for treatment.
I saw quite a few children being treated with protons. In a lot of cases, it appears that's the only viable option for young bodies still developing.
As you said, this therapy is not limited to prostate cancer. Cancer of the eye is another major condition in which protons are, IMO (albeit a non-medical one), the best (if not only) acceptable treatment.
I toured the synchroton, spoke with physicists and techs, even met with company reps from Belgium. The technology is astounding. But for reasons pointed out in the article (cost, lack of long-term data), proton therapy will continue to be available to only a small fraction of the population.
The financial cost (my insurance paid out a shade under $300,000 for my treatments, as I discovered when reviewing the statements) is more than just the medical bills. Travel, housing and emotional costs are involved, too. But I feel, as I'm sure you do, that receiving the absolute best treatment available for yourself or a loved one is worth the cost...at any price.
The biggest problem with proton therapy is that not many folks know it even exists, and I've found that my numerous doctors never even mentioned it. Misconceptions abound, the info that's out there is outdated by many years, or perhaps treatments aren't mentioned because those treatments are not readily available in that doctor's venue. I believe that if people were given the information and the choice, they would choose proton therapy over surgeries or other forms of radiation, at least as it pertains to prostate cancer.
Thank you so much for getting into medicine! And I wish the best for you, your family and your "proton child", whom I'll now consider a younger brother (or sister?).
Edit for this P.S. - I'm posting a link here for anyone needing more info about proton therapy for prostate cancer. Hope this is allowed. The testimonials are amazing. But I cannot stress strongly enough that every man should do his own homework and make his own choice. I AM NOT A DOCTOR. My comments and my opinions are mine alone.