Myth #10: I can’t afford to take the time away from work and family required for proton therapy. I can get my treatment locally in a much shorter time and expect the same results.
This is partially true. You can get alternative treatments closer to home; it’s more convenient; and you MAY get the same results, but not necessarily.
The best way to respond to this myth is to encourage you to read myths 1 through 9. By doing so, you’ll learn that prostate cancer treatment options are all very different; that surgery often leaves the patient with lifelong debilitating side effects, that while some treatments like seeds and HIFU are quick, they aren’t necessarily as effective as proton, and quality of life may be compromised; and that conventional radiotherapy options, like IMRT, deposit two to three times more radiation on healthy tissue. Reviewing the first nine myths will also show that:
- Proton therapy is an FDA approved treatment with a long track record of curing prostate cancer.
- The laws of physics prove that it is superior to all other forms of radiotherapy because most of the radiation is deposited right at the tumor volume, and not on healthy tissue.
- Even with early stage disease, there can be cancer in the margins which is missed by surgery, but not by proton therapy.
- The chance of secondary cancers later in life are lowest with proton therapy than any other form of radiotherapy, and for proton-only patients, the likelihood of secondary cancer is zero according to one study.
- Surveys of the BOB group – which represents more than half the men alive today who have had proton therapy for prostate cancer – shows the overwhelming superiority of protons:
- 99% claim they made the best treatment decision for themselves
- 96% were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their results
- 92% report their quality of life is same as or better than before treatment
- Those who received proton-only treatment had similar urinary, bowel and hormonal scores as healthy men who never received any form of prostate cancer treatment
- 96% reported their prostate cancer was in remission
- Men with advanced localized disease (high Gleason scores) have excellent results when proton therapy is combined with photon radiation and hormonal therapy.
- There are literally dozens of studies and articles that attest to the superiority of proton therapy.
- Despite the high capital cost, most of the major cancer treatment centers have invested in proton treatment or are planning to build one.
Does this mean having proton therapy is worth the inconvenience of being away from home or work for several weeks? We certainly think so.
We occasionally hear from businessmen, often small business owners, who say, “I just can’t afford to be away for two months.” We typically ask them, “What would happen if you got hit by a bus and were out of commission for two months, would your business survive?” The answer is almost always, “Yes.” Then we say, “So why not do yourself a favor and choose the best treatment in the world for your prostate cancer?”
Two months away from home may seem like a long time, but it’s a speck of time in the grand scheme of things. And, when the quality of the rest of your life is at stake, a two-month sabbatical could be an excellent “investment” in time to give yourself the best chance of a cure and quality of life after treatment. For most of us, the two months go by in a flash – and believe it or not – many of us are sad when the treatment ends.
Myth #10: BUSTED!
Any questions? Just ask.