Sunday, July 4, 2010

Proton beam therapy has been used for over 50 years

Well I could not hold myself back on what seems an endless rhetoric of comments on proton therapy posted through the various groups on the internet. They usually go like this:

"Has anyone undergone this treatment as their primary form of treatment and are dissatisfied with the results?? The cancer forums are full of glowing testimonials claiming full cures with no side effects but I suspect there is a dark side to this procedure that goes unreported..I notice no one talks about the cost and the hassle of relocating to one of the few treatment centers for 8 or 10 weeks...

Does proton beam really enjoy a higher success rate than standard external beam radiation??
"...as it goes

My reply to this reads like this.....

Loma Linda Medical University has treated over 10,000 prostate patients since the early 90's. You will be hard pressed to find a dark side to proton therapy vs other forms of treatment available. With the treatment being offered for pediatric cancers, brain, eye, lung early stage cancers the proton beam is a powerful instrument of cure. If you are looking at justifying cost with an means that cures children and so many types of cancer with no long term side effects...why would you ask this question? How do you put a value on saving a childs life or reducing the pain suffering from lung cancer. Proton beam therapy has been with us since the early 50's (referencing "Handbook of accelerator physics and engineering" By Alex Chao) it states.."page 30 "Even with less sophisticated delivery systems, dose distributions of proton and ion beams are considerably better then even the best x-ray systems, and successful clinical programs with these beams have been ongoing for almost 50 years."

For those that are under-insured and uninsured (no insurance) or need financing, there are many options for proton treatment within reasonable costs (please contact me if you need help). Yes I have battled cancer and was treated with Proton with 45 sessions. I have no side effects and doing just great. To me the small inconvenience of being away from home for 9 weeks was far better than what other forms of treatment side effects offered. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and proton beam therapy is an option please take a look it. It will be a wise decision.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Don't Let Them Cut You, Man!

Today he told me that, after meeting with three urologists, he's "comfortable" with surgery.

I can't imagine how anyone can get comfortable with an operation that is going to remove their prostate, their seminal vesicles, some lymph nodes and the involuntary sphincter that controls their urine, but all I could say was: Go to a good surgeon then.

Here's what someone I met at the Proton Therapy Center at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, told me about the way surgeons make their pitch. He was getting "salvage" proton therapy to cure his cancer after a prominent surgeon in New York City botched the job.

The urologist is a surgeon, and, no matter how well he covers your other options, his emphasis will be on a surgical solution. He's not likely to recommend another surgeon either. In his mind, he is your best option. Please the rest of this story here. Think about it!

Proton Forum in Seoul Korea

This is an invite to what promises to be a great cause in providing affordable proton beam therapy cancer:

My name is Curtis Poling and I invite you to visit the new National Cancer Center (NCC) facilities in Seoul Korea. Experience exotic Korea and tour the NCC PBT facilities as I have. My prostate cancer was treated with Proton Beam Therapy successfully. I have full confidence that Proton Beam Treatment is the BEST option for prostate cancer. But insurance approval to receive this PBT treatment was not an easy process. Perseverance in being my own p`tient advocate and finally overcoming insurance denials paid off. Since that time I have become passionate seeking out affordable PBT for underinsured, uninsured or expedient treatment process. Now I am asking you to get involved as an advocate for your own care option! Become part of a viable program and finally be a winner in the battle with cancer. Please visit the new gateway for proton treatment at http:/pbtkorea.com
Curtis Poling, Prostate Cancer Survivor

Monday, May 24, 2010

Considering Proton Treatment for Prostate Cancer

I read in recent prostate blogs and groups that proton beam radiation therapy is becoming more difficult for insurance approval. The sign of our times is putting more value on the actual cost of treatment versus pain, side effects and loss of bodily functions. Medical professionals like to quote this… "Many men do extremely well after PBRT (proton beam radiation therapy) ... but that is true for every type of therapy, particularly in the case of men with low-risk prostate cancer"... This statement oversimplifies the outcome of the procedures and is self serving for the treating physician. You need to be your own patient advocate during this discovery process.

There is a dynamic difference in treatments and side effects. If you consider IMRT, IGRT or Cyberknife, these treatments are all forms of photon x-ray beams and have collateral damage to all tissue exposed. Proton beam therapy only ionizes the actual tumor and not the surrounding tissue due to Bragg peak properties of the beam.

If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer please read through this blog and consider the consequences of other treatments. If you decide as I did on proton therapy you can lead a normal life keeping your sexuality with no loss of bodily functions or pain during and after proton treatment. Continue to forge ahead do not give up on being treated with proton beam therapy.

I read prostate cancer treatment posts daily and it is so sad to see so many men regretting their decision of prostate cancer treatment. Please read this 41 year old gentleman’s story at PSA Rising website. This is just one of the thousands of sad stories to read if you do a little of research. Yes they did treat their cancer but at what cost to quality of life during the cure.

It has now been 2 1/2 years since my proton therapy and I have not lost a day to surgery, pain, loss of sexuality, strength or urination from my prostate cancer treatment. I know I have made the right decision. Please feel free to drop me note if you need any assistance or advice through the process. I do have resources to assist.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Live the life you’ve imagined

The promenade in life quickly gets lost in the everyday diversions of problems and our personal accountability for each other. I ran into this saying rummaging through some signs in a store ”Live the life you've imagined”. What a marvelous inspirational quote by Henry David Thoreau. It reads completely:


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler. “– Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)


Reflection on these words has reminded me to pursue our dreams even though we have been diagnosed with a dreadful disease as cancer. I consider myself lucky that I am aware of this revelation and able to do something about it. Today I start anew “Live the life you’ve imagined”.

Celebrate Life!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Prostate Cancer Treatment Primer

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

The appropriate treatment for prostate cancer is not always clear. Treatment options vary based on the stage of the tumor. In the early stages, you have several options including surgery, radiation therapy, or, in older patients, monitoring the cancer without active treatment.

Prostate cancer that has spread may be treated with drugs to reduce testosterone levels, surgery to remove the testes, or chemotherapy.

Surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy can interfere with sexual desire or performance on either a temporary or permanent basis. You can continue to read about most of your options here.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 53 and selected proton beam therapy. You can read the early stages of my prostate cancer journey here. Today my PSA is .8 with no side effects. I did not experience any loss of bodily function and have a normal healthy life.

Please do your research and do what is best for you. Your physician may not be in the best position to completely analysis what options are available to you. I put a lot of emphasis on quality of life during and after the treatment. Proton therapy for me has been a blessing.

Cheers for proton therapy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quest for Affordable Proton Therapy

This post presents my quest for affordable proton beam therapy. If you decide as I did that PBT is your course of prostate cancer treatment, you will find these costs are daunting for the under-insured or for uninsured out of pocket medical expense. The current state of U.S. health care reform may also have a big impact on who receives this treatment.


I recently journeyed halfway around the globe and toured the National Cancer Center proton treatment center in Seoul Korea. This proton center was constructed by IBA builder of 50% of the worlds proton centers. The NCC installed a Hydrogen ion, 230Mev. 220 tons Cyclotron and was built almost simultaneously as the Florida Proton Center in Jacksonville FL in 2007.

The National Cancer Center in Seoul Korea facility is welcoming patients from around the globe. I found Korea a fascinating, exotic and extremely comfortable destination for medical tourism. The Korean people are most generous with their hospitality.

I have determined that a US resident can make this journey to Seoul Korea, live comfortably, and be treated at this facility with no more concerns than any US based center. Proton treatment abroad at the NCC Proton Center is 1/3 the cost (including your airfare and housing) of US based PBT centers. Consultation scheduling is almost immediate and treatment will start from a few days of consultation.

You can read more about this journey on my new Affordable Proton Therapy blog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer Continues to Provide Excellent Results

I can happily report that my PSA is still at .8 nadir 2 years after my last proton treatment. I have not experienced any side effects and in all fairness feeling just great. Wow two years later from a high of 5.8 and I owe it all to the Bragg peak abilities of the proton beam.

I was fortunate to receive proton for prostate cancer treatment, considering that total treatment capacity is less than 3% of the annual cases in the U.S. proton centers. The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for prostate cancer in the United States are for 2009:

* 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer
* 27,360 deaths from prostate cancer

This brings my story to a new chapter in this prostate cancer journey. My next post will reveal the true and tremendous obstacles I had in obtaining and receiving proton beam therapy. Proton beam therapy almost didn’t happen for me. I will post my new quest to provide this PBT treatment as an affordable option for many others. Life is good and cheers!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Drum Roll Please

Well we have a drum roll! I have a new PSA test scheduled this week 2/12/2010. I will post the results as soon as they arrive. On another front I will be soon reporting on a exciting and new journey with proton beam therapy. I have been blessed to work on this new project. So check back soon! Cheers!