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.

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