FACT: Almost 30,000 men each year die just from prostate cancer
What are the alternatives for treating cancer? Invasive Surgery, chemo therapy, radiation, Gamma Knife, Proton Beam Therapy, "natural cures."
Deeply invasive surgery used to be the only kind of therapy going for things like breast cancer, brain cancer or prostate cancer. Until just recently, most patients took months to recover from even minor invasive surgery for cancer, and some never did recover. The reputation for invasive surgery is so bad that some patients have been known to just give up and die when told "an operation" was their only hope.
When one man's wife had a cancerous lump show up in one breast her doctors insisted that both her breasts be removed so that cancer wouldn't show up unexpectedly in the other one. That was bad enough, but then they insisted that all 6 of their daughters have genetic testing performed "to determine if they also should have both their breasts removed, as a preventative measure!
This is PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE?
Chemo therapy was the next step up from invasive surgery for treating some cancers. I remember seeing the needle slip out on one early patient, and that liquid chemo killer boiled down her arm, leaving a strip of raw skin behind. Chemo is much advanced from that primitive time, thank goodness, but it still works on the same principle: kill everything in sight - and hope that only "good stuff" is regenerated. Today's physicians specializing in applying chemo therapy are also more adept at applying this therapy, and most of them now listen to their patients so that the program may be modified as needed. Cancer is seldom the ONLY problem a patient may have. Having something like: heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, can require many modifications.
Radiation therapy was a huge step forward. At first it worked rather similarly to sticking your head in the microwave where everything inside an area as thick as your fist would get zapped with sizzling bolts of energy - more or less right on the cancer tumors - with the intent to do murder to the black-eyed invader. Even though almost as much of the healthy tissue in surrounding areas was also destroyed, it was still a giant step forward. Today, with rapid advances in modern technology -- and where applicable -- radiation therapy can work wonders.
Gamma Knife: ".. can improve survival rates for patients with malignant brain tumors that cannot be removed through surgery alone. This noninvasive procedure replaces a surgeon's scalpel with 201 precisely focused beams of cobalt gamma radiation, having minimal effect on healthy surrounding tissue. The Gamma Knife has been especially beneficial to patients considered poor surgical candidates due to age, health factors or inability to tolerate general anesthesia. In addition, this advanced technology has been found to be beneficial to children who are candidates for this approach."
The theory behind Proton Beam Therapy is to strike hard at just a small cluster of cancer at a time, and let the body recover between strikes. " -- the patient is exposed (overall) to 500 percent LESS radiation than your traditional X-ray therapy," said Dr. Sameer Keole, a radiation oncologist working at ProCure in Oklahoma City, OK.
Natural cures? Well, they really have helped a lot of people -- but if you really believe in any of them then you should have begun using them long before you knew that your cancer was there. Consult with your physician about possible conflicts before using any natural cures while involved in treating cancer.
Proton Beam Cancer Treatments
Here's How It Started In The Beginning..
Using high-energy protons for medical treatment was first proposed by scientists in 1946. But it wasn't until 1990 that the first proton therapy facility in Loma Linda California was opened to the public. As the nation's first available, hospital-based proton treatment center for cancer, the Loma Linda University Medical Center still offers proton therapy for prostate, lung and brain cancers. "We treat more patients worldwide than any other center of our kind, having delivered over hundreds of thousands treatments."
No invasive surgery is required with proton beam therapy. Although it is related to radiation therapy for cancer, it is incredibly more precise. That precision of proton beam therapy spares most of the patient's healthy tissue and therefore it results in far fewer - short-term or long-term - side effects in cancer patients. Unlike radiation treatment, protons only travel a specific distance. This allows doctors with the right equipment to control the depth of the radiation and deliver the payload right where it is needed -- without damaging or destroying nearly as much healthy tissue as X-ray beam therapy does. The proton beam process starts by injecting protons into the center of a cyclotron buried beneath the building, where they are met by a series of circular, angled magnets. The magnets are rapidly toggled so as to polarize -- and depolarize -- causing the protons to hurl around in a circle at about two-thirds the speed of light.
From there, the protons are split, generating a beam that flies through a maze of delivery systems throughout the ProCure building.
Isaac Asimov and other science fiction writers of 70 years ago worried about a human backlash against robots as they took over menial, drudge work. They were wrong. There has been no backlash because robots are too precious to waste on menial drudge work. Robots are doing precision work in the medical field that is so sophisticated that human beings might not ever acquire that degree of precision. Consequently, robots are both needed, and appreciated. In fact, there are dreams alive in the medical field for building newer and better robots.
When Chris Chandler was a child he was confined in a hospital for several long weeks. There he dreamed that someday, someday he would improve health care in a major way. That opportunity to make an impact came with Proton Therapy for treating cancer. "In the last 30 years I've never seen anything as exciting as Proton Therapy."In the treatment rooms, the proton beam comes out of a snout-shaped funnel that shoots it through a brass aperture that has been custom-designed for each patient. The apertures are shaped exactly like the brains, prostates, and other body parts, according to which kind of cancer is being zapped.
The biggest problem with Proton therapy seemed to be getting the patient to hold perfectly still while the therapy beam zings its loaded cargo directly into the cancer cells. This problem was solved by molding a board for each patient that fit them perfectly. Movement is not only restricted, movement would invite discomfort. For treating patients with cancer in the brain, a form-fitted mask might be necessary to keep the head from moving about. Consequently, holding perfectly still is a piece of cake for the mature patient. Also patients know that the zap happens so fast they won't feel a thing. The point of entry is so tiny, so narrow that the body can eliminate the dead cells and repair itself quickly.
Depending on the type, size and location of the cancer different delivery systems are required. With one the robot will fire its beams of protons while the delivery system revolves around the patient. This facilitates multiple strikes that are not hampered by bone or cartilage density that might deflect or dissipate the beam of protons. "Now we are developing a chair for newer treatments. These will make the treatment session be much more comfortable, especially for our younger patients," Chris Chandler said.
The newest treatment room at ProCure is the first in the world to provide inclined beam technology. Patients lie down on a board that has been molded to form a perfect fit for their reclining points of contact.
The patient is perfectly still, and a tiny speck of gold that has been permanently implanted in the patient's body then helps to guide the proton beam right to the specified target with uncanny accuracy.
Other facilities are currently in the works.. One in Chicago is expected to be open in November of this year. Another facility in progress is found in New Jersey and is expected to need only 27 months to finish.
Each of them will build on pockets of excellence: Chicago (for example) will focus on treating breast cancer while the one in Oklahoma City is concentrating on prostate cancer and brain cancers -- among other things.
Visionaries like Chris Chandler began putting investment packages together so that other proton beam treatment centers were soon scheduled to be built at great cost and time investments. It wasn't that easy, or quick, to build a working proton beam treatment facility. The one in Pennsylvania took 11 years to build. However, each time a new facility was built, newer and better methods were being learned and so the facility in Florida required only 7 years to build instead of that initial 11. Chris was actively involved in speeding up the construction process.
"The patients are our partners in helping other networks hit the ground running," said Chris. As a result patients would feel like they were an important part of the team and they were dedicated to treating and curing their cancer. Learning from the experiences of the patients involved showed better ways of setting up the reception areas and the service areas. Consequently, construction leaped forward at fast-track speed when Chris became co-founder and Senior Vice President of the ProCure cancer-fighting proton beam therapy facility to be built in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
To facilitate usage of the newest equipment so it could be accessed and utilized in the most efficient manner each room was pre-designed, engineered and pruned around the concept of integrating the comfort of patients and the most modern technology available. The resulting work flow is not only natural but also friendly. Constructing new units now are almost a cookie-cutter operation and construction times have dropped down to just a little more than 2 years.
ProCure, broke the previous world record for construction of a proton beam treatment facility by more than 9 months. Its doors opened on July 8, 2009 From the first shovel to treating the first patient, ProCure was finished in just 27 months of construction and the very latest efficiencies and innovations were built right into the development process - from the design of the center to the training and certification of the medical professionals that would care for ProCure patients. It is the only unit of its kind in Oklahoma and in fact, there are still only 6 others like it, nationwide.
The ProCure facility in Oklahoma City is intricately associated with the very best health care organizations This affords patients with the absolute best options, convenience and equipment for various kinds of treatment -- chemo, radiation, proton beam -- all in one place. Patients who come to the ProCure Center for therapy can take a few, comfortable steps next door to receive all the additional care they might need at the INTEGRIS' state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility.
Meet The Staff,
Yes, the treatment center is equipped with the most advanced proton therapy technology available today and is on the leading edge of doing better. But more importantly, a team of experienced radiation oncologists and highly skilled medical professionals are exceedingly friendly and dedicated to providing the most exceptional patient care team available.
Taking its cue from the extremely successful proton treatment operation in Loma Linda California, ProCure has assembled teams of naturally cheerful staff that work to create an environment of warm, fuzzy wonderfulness with each patient.
As soon as patients enter the building a member of the team comes hurrying out to greet each one by name with either a delighted hug or a warm and friendly handshake. The stress seen in many cancer treatment waiting rooms is replaced here by buoyant confidence to the point where success is expected, not just prayed for, though prayers are always welcome.
John Henderson, Chief Operating Officer at the Oklahoma City ProCure site says: "To get on any one of our teams at ProCure, applicants will be meeting for deep interviews in each department. Before they are hired, most of our applicants will be interviewed face-to-face by up to 6 team leaders. We are looking for staff members that can meet patients with a real smile of welcome, someone that patients will know instinctively are genuinely good people, determined to do everything in their power to keep patients comfortable and cheerful. You can't fake that kind of attitude through 6 long interviews to get the job or maintain it on the job."
Any eye will notice that the frightening stress level seen in many cancer treatment waiting rooms is replaced by buoyant confidence at ProCure. In the 5 weeks that I've been coming to ProCure to support my friend I have never seen anyone finish a small drink before a team rep is out there, picking them up, urging them to come on in and complete their daily treatment. Laughing, joking, secure, all the patients feel right at home here, and safe.
For shepherds, family and friends of the patient the waiting room offers three kinds of chairs -- and several recliners -- for friends and family of the patients for the typical treatment that only lasts about 20 minutes at the most. One chair even rotates so visitors can choose to face the light, or the soft music. Coffee, pure water, several kinds of tea, and various juices are available to quench the thirst. Titles for the small library run from coffee table picture books to violent murder and mass mayhem, but you will also see a large selection of titles that explain cancer for the layman. A large variety of magazines is within reach of almost every seat.
Every Wednesday at noon the ProCure patients in Oklahoma City meet for the purpose of graduating cancer patients back into the normal world. Impromptu entertainment is often furnished by the patients and galvanizingly funny humor is the order of the day from the departing alumni.
We had 3 graduates recently that received their parchment of successful completion and big coins with their graduating sequence numbers on them. Each of the coins presented to graduates is almost twice as big as silver dollars used to be a hundred years ago. Each sequentially numbered coin is struck especially for ProCure. The basic design has symbols and emblems intended to be an inspiration for the graduates for many years to come.
Two graduates remembered their support teams with a fondness usually reserved only to those that pass through enemy fire together. The third graduate was a tiny babe so small he was still dressed in swaddling clothing. His mother spoke for him, saying that now he would have a chance for a normal life. His mother personally thanked each member of his team that was present.
A returning graduate said he started therapy with a PSA of 16.1 Now his PSA is so low it almost can't be measured. INCREDIBLE!
Another recent "graduate" from Procure was a 5 year old that came in with 'incurable' cancer and was weakly confined to a wheel chair. Just a few days after graduation his happy parents reported that he was outside playing kickball with his siblings.
The results and success rates are astounding. I have watched my best friend revive from "barely able to walk" daily improve to the "Let's go hiking!" level in just a matter of weeks. I have made 6 new friends that gravitated to ProCure to keep cancer from destroying their life. They too have began reviving in about the same time frame. You can almost feel the excitement in the air the very minute you step through the door. Success at ProCure is not just prayed for, it is expected.
Medical practitioners may request general information about ProCure treatments by calling 888-847-2640.
Anyone that feels an urge to become a patient at ProCure should first ask their personal physicians for a preliminary study to see if proton therapy is an indicated treatment option for their cancer. They may then request a consultation by calling (888) 847-2640
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