Woman coping with cancer during the holidays

12 tips for coping with cancer during the holidays

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Coping with cancer during the holidays is no easy task. Even when perfectly healthy, we’ve all felt the stress of the season at one point or another. So, adding that weight to an already burdensome cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help manage your emotions. In this article, we’ll share 12 tips to help you cope with cancer during the holidays.

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Woman showing support for her friend with cancer

5 compassionate ways to support a friend with cancer

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There’s no question it’s tough to hear the news that one of your friends has been diagnosed cancer. Once the initial shock has worn off, many of us have a gut reaction to immediately offer our help and support. However, there are certain “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to helping cancer patients. In this article, we’ll share five compassionate ways to support a friend with cancer.

  1. Check with them first
  2. Include them
  3. Treat them the same
  4. Offer specific ways to help
  5. Talk about other things

Before you reach out to your friend, make sure you’ve taken time to process your own feelings first. Do some research and learn about their diagnosis. Try to think about things from your friend’s perspective. Understanding their situation and coming to terms with your own emotions will help make things more comfortable for both of you.

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Prostate cancer patients can choose watchful waiting or active surveillance if they wish to forgo immediate treatment

Prostate Cancer: Watchful Waiting vs. Active Surveillance

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About one out of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer.1 However, due to advances in cancer screening awareness and early detection, most men will not die from prostate cancer. In fact, many men who are diagnosed with an early-stage, low-grade cancer may need little to no immediate medical treatment. Instead, they can choose from two different methods of monitoring their prostate cancer: watchful waiting or active surveillance.

For men with prostate cancer, the goal of cancer management methods like watchful waiting and active surveillance is to avoid the side effects caused by cancer treatments like surgery or radiation therapy.

Both watchful waiting and active surveillance are ways of monitoring the cancer for changes, but the reasons for choosing one method over the other are different:

  • Watchful waiting is better for men who can’t undergo curative treatment. It is meant to manage symptoms by controlling the cancer, but is not intended to cure it.
  • Active surveillance is better for men who would benefit from curative treatment should the cancer become more aggressive.

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Sarcoma Awareness Month is in July

Sarcoma Awareness Month: Shining light on the ‘forgotten cancer’

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When you mention the word “cancer,” most people think of more common cancers like breast, lung and prostate cancer. However, July is designated as Sarcoma Awareness Month. It’s an opportunity to help raise awareness about a disease that’s often considered the “forgotten cancer.”

Sarcoma is a cancer of the body’s connective tissues. It begins in bone or soft tissues like fat, cartilage or muscle, and can affect both children and adults. Sarcoma Awareness Month raises awareness of a disease that’s relatively rare. This helps advocacy groups, who are often hindered by the fact that many people don’t even know this type of cancer exists. The public’s lack of awareness and understanding of sarcoma makes it much more challenging to secure funding for research and treatment development.

In this article, we’ll help you develop a better understanding of what sarcoma is, why we have Sarcoma Awareness Month, how you can help the cause, and how proton therapy can help treat sarcoma patients.

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coronavirus cancer care

Moving forward with your cancer care during the coronavirus pandemic

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Life during the coronavirus pandemic is far from normal. Whether it’s work, finances, family, personal health or countless other worries, most people have some added anxiety during these times. And for cancer patients, who are already experiencing a traumatic life change, the fear and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic can make matters even worse.

A cancer diagnosis in normal times comes with many questions. What is my prognosis? How do I treat my cancer? How is my quality of life going to be impacted? Now though, the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 sparks even more questions. It also casts doubt on whether it’s even safe to move forward with your cancer care at this time.

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Proton Therapy Coming to Kansas City with Opening of Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center

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Knoxville, Tennessee (September 12, 2019) – – Provision Healthcare announces the expansion of the Provision CARES Cancer Network with plans to develop the Provision CARES Cancer Center and Proton Therapy Center in Kansas City, Kansas.  The center will be the first in Kansas, located in the Lenexa community of Kansas City to serve patients in the area and surrounding region with advanced cancer care. Proton therapy precisely targets tumors thus reducing the risk of side effects and providing improved outcomes and quality of life for patients both during and after treatment

“The Kansas City Provision CARES Cancer Center and Proton Therapy Center will be the fourth Provision CARES center in the U.S. as Provision Healthcare continues to develop the network and pursue our mission to make advanced cancer care and proton therapy more accessible by developing cancer centers and proton therapy centers in the U.S., Asia, and around the world,” said Dr. Terry Douglass, Chairman and CEO of Provision Healthcare.

Kansas City’s proton therapy treatment center will be a three-treatment room center and will utilize the latest proton system technology of ProNova Solutions, which is a Provision Healthcare company. “Our team is honored to create, deliver and expand innovative technology that brings advancements and solutions to cancer care with our ProNova SC360”, said Joe Matteo, President of ProNova Solutions. Provision Solutions will provide the development, training and management of the proton therapy center and cancer center.  It is projected that approximately 1,000 patients per year will be treated at the proton center. The development of other medical office space will provide additional complementary cancer services adjacent to the proton therapy center.

About Provision Healthcare

Provision Healthcare, LLC (Provision) was formed in 2005 with the purpose of developing innovative healthcare solutions focused on improving patient care and clinical outcomes and developing support for research, educational and charitable causes. Provision has developed a unique, comprehensive expertise in proton therapy that distinguishes it from other proton and cancer center developers and operators that have a much narrower focus. The combination of our unique expertise and innovative, entrepreneurial approach continues to propel Provision towards a position of industry leadership with respect to both cancer care and proton therapy.

About ProNova Solutions, LLC and the ProNova SC360 Proton Therapy System

ProNova Solutions, LLC, a Provision Healthcare company was founded by current leaders of Provision and former leaders of CTI Molecular Imaging, which brought positron emission tomography (PET) technology out of the laboratory and made it a clinical reality for millions of cancer patients. Today the same team is redefining cancer treatment once again with the introduction of the first and only superconducting 360-degree compact proton therapy system, making proton therapy a clinical reality. It is the only proton therapy system developed in a clinical setting, benefitting from continuous input from physicians, medical physicists, and therapists during the entire course of design and development. The system includes state-of-the-art features such as pencil beam scanning and advanced imaging with cone-beam CT, all in a compact design.

Contacts:

Nancy Howard
Provision Healthcare – Knoxville, TN
nancy.howard@provisionproton.com
(865) 603-0865

Am I at Risk for Prostate Cancer

Am I at Risk for Prostate Cancer?

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September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  It is important to know if you are at risk of prostate cancer and whether you should get an annual Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level test.

In Tennessee, as well as the United States, prostate cancer has the second highest new cancer rate overall and is the number one cancer for new cancer types among men.(1)    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 3,110,403 men living with prostate cancer in the US.  Based on their 2014-2016 data, approximately 11.6% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime.  According to SEER, there will be an estimated 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer in 2019 with an estimated 31,620 deaths from prostate cancer.  The five year survival rate for prostate

Prostate cancer is most frequently diagnosed among men aged 65-74 with a median age of 66.  However, 9.2% of new prostate cancer cases are among men under the age of 55.(2)

In addition to age, other factors can increase the risk of being diagnosed, including family history, genetic factors, race, lifestyle and dietary habits.

If an immediate family member such as your father or brother have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, then your risk of developing prostate cancer is 2 to 3 times higher than normal.  Your risk increases with each relative that has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Your risk will also increase if two or more close relatives on the same side of the family have been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 55.(3)

African American men have a higher risk and are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and have been found to have a more aggressive tumor.

There have not been any studies to prove that diet and nutrition has any direct correlation with developing prostate cancer.  However, if a male who is overweight is diagnosed with prostate cancer, they are at a greater risk for developing a more aggressive cancer.

While there can be lifestyle and dietary habits that can increase your risk of prostate cancer, there are a few myths that have been rumored to increase your risk of prostate cancer.   Sexual activity level is a non-factor as well as having a vasectomy.  Alcohol is another non-risk factor for prostate cancer.

If you do have any of these risk factors, it is important to have your PSA level checked annually.  If you do have an elevated PSA level, your doctor can provide information on additional testing to confirm your diagnosis.

Source:

(1) Center for Disease Control.  Prostate Cancer Statistics.  https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/index.htm

(2) National Cancer Institute.  Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.  Cancer Stat Facts:  Prostate Cancer. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/prost.html

(3) Cancer.Net.  Prostate Cancer Statistics.  https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/statistics

How Dosimetry Helps Shape Your Proton Therapy Treatment Plan

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It only takes a few minutes for patients to receive their daily proton therapy treatment.  However, for each treatment course, there have been hours of prior planning to develop the best treatment plan according to the radiation oncologist’s prescription.  Dosimetry plays a vital role in proton therapy, helping to create a unique treatment plan comprising of the exact dose,  beam angles and patient positioning aspects required to deliver the dose to the target volume.

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New Study confirms proton therapy results in fewer side effects for many cancers.

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In the largest side-by-side comparison study of its kind, proton therapy was found to have fewer side effects while maintaining similar survival rates when compared to traditional X-ray radiation therapy.

The study, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania,  included almost 1,500 patients receiving combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy for lung, brain, head and neck, gastrointestinal and gynecologic cancers that were localized to one part of the body and had not metastasized.    A combination treatment of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is a standard treatment leading to cure for many non-metastatic cancer.  However, it is common for patients of this treatment regimen to experience severe side effects that can significantly reduce quality of life and in some cases require hospitalization, trading cure for side effects.

Proton Therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses protons to deliver the radiation directly to the tumor.  Protons are positively charged particles that have a unique characteristic allowing more of the radiation dose to be directly deposited at the tumor.  There is minimal entrance dose and no exit dose, significantly reducing radiation received to nearby healthy tissue and organs when compared to X-ray therapy that uses photons which travel all the way through the body and pass through healthy tissue on the way out.  Both proton and X-ray radiation therapy are FDA approved.

According to the research, after controlling for differences between the groups, such as age and additional medical problems, the researchers found that patients receiving proton therapy experienced a two-thirds reduction in the relative risk of severe side effects within 90 days of treatment, compared with patients receiving X-ray radiation therapy. “We looked at grade-three side effects—including pain or difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, nausea, or diarrhea, among others—often severe enough for patients to be hospitalized,” says the study’s lead author Brian Baumann, an adjunct assistant professor of radiation oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine and an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Our clinical experience is that concurrent chemoradiation therapy patients treated with protons, rather than photons, tend to have fewer side effects. While there is some literature supporting that finding for several disease sites, we did not expect the magnitude of the benefit to be this large.”

Furthermore, the researchers found no difference between the two groups in survival, suggesting that proton therapy was just as effective in treating the cancer even as it caused fewer side effects.  Overall survival at one year for the proton therapy group was 83 percent of patients versus 81 percent for the X-ray radiation therapy group.

To learn more about the benefits of proton therapy, visit our proton benefits page.

Source:  Baumann BC, Mitra N, Harton JG, Xiao Y, Wojcieszynski AP, Gabriel PE, Zhong H, Geng H, Doucette A, Wei J, O’Dwyer PJ, Bekelman JE, Metz JM. Comparative effectiveness of proton therapy versus photon therapy as part of concurrent chemo-radiotherapy for locally advanced cancer. American Society of Clinical Oncology poster session. June 1, 2019.