At just 29 years old, Alexa was diagnosed with a 4.5 centimeter tumor on the left side of her throat. She and her husband, Peter, began researching proton therapy on the advice of a family physician, who had already treated Alexa’s father for throat cancer several years earlier.
Because of Alexa’s young age, the couple wanted to find a treatment that would be effective, but also spare her from unwanted long-term side effects. With traditional radiation, she risked permanent damage to her salivary glands, taste buds, and teeth, as well as the potential need for a feeding tube during and after treatment.
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer. Provision offers the most advanced form of proton therapy through pencil beam scanning, which delivers focused, high intensity doses of radiation to the cancer site, while largely sparing surrounding healthy tissues and organs. This results in fewer immediate side effects and decreases long-term risk of secondary cancer due to radiation exposure.
After calling numerous proton therapy centers across the country, the couple scheduled a consult at Provision CARES Proton Therapy.
“Every time we called, we talked to a real person,” Peter remembered. “We were blown away by the level of attention and the level of care Provision staff showed us just within the first hour of meeting them.”
After seeing her father suffer serious and painful side effects from traditional radiation, Alexa was pleased to experience only mild soreness and fatigue with proton therapy. Those side effects even began to subside during the later weeks of treatment.
“The best thing about proton therapy was my wife was able to maintain her normal life while she was going through this,” Peter said.
The couple also appreciated the atmosphere at Provision, with its large, sunlit lobby, private treatment rooms, and personalized Culture of Care.
“Half the time I would forget I was here for cancer treatment,” Alexa said. “You are able focus on the process of getting better and less on the fact that you have cancer.”
To further demonstrate his appreciation for Provision and support of proton therapy, Peter, who is a basketball coach, even wears the Provision pin on his lapel during games.
“I am definitely a fan,” Peter quipped.