Prostate cancer treatment: what you need to know

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When it comes to prostate cancer treatment, there’s bad news and there’s good news.

The bad news: Prostate cancer ranks the third most common cancer in the U.S. Healthcare providers diagnose more than 200,000 new cases each year. Approximately 14 percent of men will succumb to prostate cancer in their lifetimes. The good news: Most diagnosed with prostate cancer survive. The disease represents 13.3 percent of all new cancer cases. But only 4.7 percent of those diagnosed will die of the disease. Research shows five-year relative survival rates for prostate cancer at 99.7 percent. (National Cancer Institute)

And, proton therapy offers a treatment option for prostate cancer with many fewer short-term and long-term side effects. (more…)

VA program promotes treatment choice

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When Ken Rainey decided he wanted to pursue proton therapy in lieu of conventional radiation for his throat cancer, he thought navigating his VA insurance would be tricky.

As it turned out, Rainey benefited from a program called Veterans Choice, which allows veterans who have significant wait times for treatment or live at some distance from appropriate treatment facilities to received care at a non-VA site of their choosing. (more…)

Study proves proton therapy effective for breast cancer patients

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With breast cancer getting lots of attention this time of year, women should know that research has shown patients experience excellent survival rates and cosmetic results with proton therapy.

Loma Linda University’s Proton Treatment and Research Center conducted the clinical trial on patients with early stage invasive (non lobular) breast cancer. The 2014 study, “Partial Breast Radiation Therapy With Proton Beam: 5-Year Results With Cosmetic Outcomes,” represents the most solid data set to date on proton therapy and breast cancer outcomes. (more…)

High-powered patient “in love” with proton therapy

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When 60-year-old Keith Eades was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he wasn’t satisfied with the option of surgery recommended by his physician. After much research, he chose proton therapy, a type of targeted radiation treatment that allowed him to continue his active lifestyle and experience limited side effects from treatment.

“There have been zero, I mean zero side effects from proton therapy,” said Eades. “I may be the person most in love with proton therapy in the world.” (more…)

Data backs up anecdotal evidence

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A recently released national survey reported that men treated for prostate cancer who received proton therapy experienced significantly better quality of life during and after treatment than those treated with surgery or traditional x-ray therapy. The survey carried out via phone and online, by Bryant Research profiled 755 men, ages 50-75, who were surveyed at least 12 months after treatment.

Patients who received proton therapy were significantly more likely than those who received brachytherapy, surgery or traditional x-ray therapy to report treatment did not interfere with sexual function. They also described feeling better during treatment and better outcomes with respect to urinary function, bowel function, digestive function and the ability to stay active. (more…)