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.