Much has been written about diet and cancers in general. Some claims in the media and Internet are based on scientific studies, and others are pure speculation. This month, we report on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that helps shed some light on this subject.
Generally speaking, a diet and lifestyle that promote and support good health overall, also help prevent cancers of all types. One theory is that a healthy diet and lifestyle strengthen our immune system, and a healthy immune system helps to ward off multiple diseases.
A few years ago, I read the book, The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell. I found the book to have some compelling information about the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And while I cannot report that I follow the book's recommendations to the letter, my diet has clearly been influenced by key points made in the book.
We neglected to mention in last month's BOB Tales that March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (better late than never). This is a disease that has struck my family numerous times. Colon cancer strikes men and women equally and it's the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Almost twice as many people die from colon cancer than from prostate cancer. Most people should be screened after turning 50 … or at a younger age if they are at risk. If you are over 50 and have not had a colonoscopy, you should seriously consider scheduling one with a gastroenterologist. Pre-cancerous polyps can easily be removed during the procedure, greatly increasing your chance of avoiding the disease later in life.
We have another full newsletter this month and, as always, we welcome your feedback. Just send an e-mail to DHickey@protonbob.com. We are especially interested in hearing about your favorite brain teasers and riddles. Many have told us this is the first section they read. I hope you enjoy reading our April BOB Tales.
To print the BOB Tales newsletter or view the newsletter with a larger font size, click here for the PDF file.
in this issue
- Can diet influence prostate cancer spread?
- Hormonal therapy"not really that bad?
- 15th proton center opens in U.S.
- Remembering a great guy and a dear friend
- A brain teaser for our smartest members
- Alaska BOB member takes his story to television
- Physicist regrets not choosing proton
We added 50 new members last month. We have members from all US states and 35 countries representing all operating proton centers in the U.S. as well as three proton centers in Europe and Asia.
Can Diet Help Control Prostate Cancer Spread?
A recent study suggests that if you have prostate cancer, the foods you eat could help prevent the cancer from spreading. The study was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine (Volume 173, page 1318). View the abstract.
Researchers surveyed 4,577 men with localized prostate cancer about their diets, estimating how much fat, and what types of fats, they consumed. Men in the group who consumed most of their fat from vegetable sources were least likely to have their prostate cancer progress and become deadly. Olive oil and nuts were typical sources of vegetable fats for men in this group.
Researchers concluded that by replacing 10 percent of calories consumed in the form of carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, soda, etc.) with vegetable fats, the risk for lethal prostate cancer could be lowered by almost a third.
Since this was an observational study, it does not prove that consuming more vegetable fats will stop prostate cancer spread, but it certainly suggests that consuming more vegetable fats may lower your risk. More research on this topic is planned.
It's always a good idea to consult a nutritionist after being treated for prostate cancer to help plan a healthy diet that meets your nutritional needs and may help prevent a recurrence.
Hormonal Therapy Not Really That Bad
Newly diagnosed men frequently hear negative things about hormonal therapy, which is often used in conjunction with proton therapy, or combined proton/photon therapy, for prostate cancer treatment. Hormonal therapy is used either to shrink the prostate or to help boost the primary treatment for moderate to aggressive prostate cancers.
Nearly 20 percent of our members have been treated with hormonal therapy. This therapy, which is also called Androgen Deprivation Therapy, acts to suppress testosterone production.
There can be side effects"usually temporary"from hormonal therapy, such as hot flashes, decreased libido, fatigue, and possibly some cardiovascular effects. While a few members have reported negative quality of life changes, most members we have spoken with over the years have tolerated hormonal therapy quite well.
Here's something, however, that was news to us. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, was titled, "Hormonal Therapy Improves Prostate Cancer Patients' Mood."
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) evaluated the effect of hormonal therapy on men with prostate cancer from 1995 to 2011 in the United States. They observed that, overall, these men "experienced significant improvements in mental and emotional well-being that seemed to continue two years after treatment." The study was published in the Journal of Urology.
The improved outlook of those on hormonal therapy were influenced by several factors, including their activity level, diet, the fact that they were getting treatment, and adjustment to their treatment. The study concluded that emotional well-being did not suffer clinically meaningful declines at 24 months.
15th Proton Center Opens in the U.S.
Twenty-four years ago, in 1990, Loma Linda University Medical Center began treating patients at its new proton treatment center. It was a huge risk and a substantial financial commitment for the medical center. To reach that point, Dr. James Slater and his team of physicians, physicists, and engineers had to literally invent ways to image the tumor, deliver, rotate and focus the beam, and create other new technologies supporting this leading-edge treatment. Prior to the Loma Linda facility, all proton treatment in the U.S. was being done in physics laboratories using a fixed beam. Today, many of the novel approaches designed by LLUMC are still being built into the newest proton centers around the world.
With the opening of the new Scripps proton center in San Diego, CA, the number of proton centers in the U.S. is now at 15. Here is the complete list:
- James M. Slater, M.D. Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA
- Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center, Bloomington, IN
- M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Proton Center, Houston, TX
- University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute, Jacksonville, FL
- ProCure Proton Therapy Center, Oklahoma City, OK
- Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, Hampton, VA
- CDH Proton Center, Chicago, IL
- Roberts Proton Therapy Center at UPENN, Philadelphia, PA
- ProCure Proton Therapy Center, NJ/MetroNY, Somerset, NJ
- SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center, Seattle, WA
- Provision Center for Proton Therapy, Knoxville, TN
- Scripps Proton Therapy Center, San Diego, CA
- Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
- S. Lee Kling Proton Therapy Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO
- UCSF Medical Center, Davis, CA (low energy system, treats only ocular tumors)
Mayo Clinic announced this month that it plans to open its new Rochester, Minnesota, proton center in June of 2015, bringing the total number of proton centers in the U.S. to 16. Thirteen additional proton centers are either under construction or are in the planning stages.
Practitioners of competing technologies have claimed over the years that proton therapy was no better than conventional radiation. Studies and patient surveys have proven them wrong. Also, prestigious institutions, such as those above would never have invested more than $2 Billion in 15 proton centers if proton therapy were not a superior technology.
All this, because of a visionary physician/physicist by the name of Dr. James M. Slater, and a bold decision by a then little known Seventh-day Adventist institution in Southern California called Loma Linda University Medical Center.
special: in memoriam
Remembering Paul Arceneaux
Along everyone's life journey, there emerges an individual who profoundly inspires us to be better, to do better and to see the better way in every situation. For so many of us, that individual was Paul Arceneaux, who modeled the positive, can-do spirit in all things. Such a positive outlook was instilled in him from the time he was born on October 6, 1947 to when he went to his rest peacefully on Friday, February 21, 2014.
Paul enjoyed a distinguished and diverse career as a teacher, and most recently as Senior Development Officer in the Philanthropy Department of Loma Linda University Health's Proton Treatment and Research Center. Regarding Paul's character, Philanthropy Executive Director David Colwell said, "Paul was a man of God"humble, helpful, and so kind and caring. He let God's love shine through him in his actions and words …"
Beyond a fulfilling career, Paul was driven by three undying passions: his family, his faith, and his friends. He leaves a devoted wife of 50 years, three daughters, his three grandchildren and many of you, to cherish his memory and legacy.
We will always remember Paul for his perseverance, strength and whole-hearted passion for the promise of proton therapy and the Brotherhood of the Balloon, whom he considered family.
spotlight on members
Member Featured on NBC News Affiliate
BOB member, Clint Johnson (Anchorage, AK), was featured on NBC news affiliate, Channel 2 News, KTUU, in Anchorage, Alaska, where he shared that he's "doing great and feeling well" after his proton treatment.
Clint Johnson is an aircraft accident investigator and Chief of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska regional office. In the photo, you can see Clint giving the "thumbs up" (while wearing his shades) as he undergoes one of his proton treatments at the James M. Slater, M.D. Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA
BOB member, Mike French (Orange, CA), finished his proton treatment a year ago this February. He sent an update to Deb:
My four month follow-up PSA last August, 2013, was 1.2, which was down from a 7.4 high level pre-proton treatment. I was hoping that the PSA would have been down to around the low to mid 3's. A 1.2 was amazing.
I just got the results of my ten month follow-up this morning, and it was a whopping 0.6. I fully expected to be told that the August PSA, because it was so low, was a bit of an anomaly and the ten month, February, 2014, PSA was in the mid to high 2's, but it was 0.6. Holy mackerel!
I am also happy to report that I have had zero side effects from the proton treatment.
By the way, I've had about six to eight guys contact me after reading my testimonial to discuss my research and treatment results.
A BOB member spouse wrote to Bob:
I am so impressed with the thoroughness of your newsletter. It covers so many topics. I am sure that it is so popular not only because it informs about proton therapy for people who are frightened and confused about their health, but it is "wholesome," in that it makes people "whole" and happy. I enjoy the little quizzes and fun activities. I also appreciate the spiritual/psychological input.
The wife of a prospective proton patient and BOB member wrote to Deb:
What a blessing that there is an organization so willing to help those of us at this crossroad. I will definitely be presenting all of the information you have furnished to our insurance company to support our case for approval of coverage for proton therapy. My husband and I can't thank you enough. The BOB is a wonderful resource.
making a difference by giving back
Matching Gift Promises to Double Yours
Don't forget: The founder of the Sequoia Foundation for Achievement in Culture and Education is encouraging fellow BOB members to match a $25,000 challenge grant. The foundation will match gifts of $1,000 or more to the Robert J. Marckini Chair, up to a total of $25,000, until December 31, 2014. Please consider taking this opportunity to double the impact of your gift!
If you are inspired to give or have questions about the various ways to support proton research efforts, please contact Aaron Laudenslager in the Office of Philanthropy at 909-558-3581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contribute by check. Just make your check out to "LLUMC Proton," specify Robert J. Marckini Chair in the memo, and mail it to: Loma Linda University Medical Center, Office of Philanthropy, P.O. Box 2000, Loma Linda, CA 92354.
Or, donate online. Specify Robert J. Marckini Chair under "Designations."
To learn about naming Loma Linda University Health in your will or trust, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at (909) 558-4553 or email@example.com.
Recap: Large Turnout at Phoenix Reunion
There were more than 85 in attendance at a Loma Linda Comes to You meeting and BOB member reunion recently held in Phoenix, Arizona. Seventy of those in attendance were BOB members and the rest were alumni from various schools of Loma Linda University.
Dr. Richard Hart, President and CEO of Loma Linda University Health, shared an overview of what is happening at Loma Linda and exciting plans for the future. Then he answered questions from the audience. Dr. Lynn Martell, DMin, Director of Special Services at LLUH, also spoke to the entire group and shared some new information about the various clinical trials going on at Loma Linda. Lynn also spoke about a goal of establishing "PODs," small groups of former patients meeting monthly or bi-monthly in different geographical areas around the country. This will provide an excellent opportunity for patients to stay in contact with one another and with Loma Linda. And it will provide opportunities for BOB members to have recently diagnosed friends and acquaintances meet and speak with former proton patients to learn about proton therapy first hand. Loma Linda will provide supporting materials to POD groups.
Cooked Oatmeal Better than Instant
Nutritionists suggest that there are many advantages to eating cooked oatmeal vs. instant. These include:
- Lower glycemic index and blood sugar response
- Greater satiety (you feel fuller, longer)
- Greater vitamin and mineral content
- Greater overall nutritional value
Besides, if you're like most, you'll MUCH prefer the firmer texture and nuttier flavor of steel cut oats over mushy, bland instant oatmeal.
Want to lose weight? Cut the MSG!
According to Sharecare.com, researchers who studied monosodium glutamate (MSG) consumption found that subjects who started from a healthy weight, but ate a mere five grams of the flavor enhancer per day for five years were 33 percent more likely to be overweight than their control group peers who were fed an MSG-free diet. Researchers suspect the food additive inhibits appetite-regulating hormones. MSG is commonly added to food by restaurants and food manufacturers.
Eating Nuts Linked to Longevity
Nuts have long been hailed for their nutritional benefits, but a new study reports nuts may be a key to longevity. The study"the largest of its kind"was conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and it looked at a large population of men and women over a 30-year period. Researchers concluded that those who eat nuts regularly have a 20% lower risk of death than their non-nut-eating peers. It's long been known that protein levels, unsaturated fats, vitamins, and antioxidants in nuts are beneficial. These benefits have been linked to a lower incidence of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. It is recommended that the average adult enjoy 5 to 6 ounces of nuts each day in order to stay healthy. Nuts included in the study were almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
Note: Loma Linda University Health researchers have reported similar findings in the past.
There are more than 26,000 books on the subject of prostate cancer on Amazon. Bob Marckini's book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer, is currently #3 on that list and has been in the top five for more than six years. As of this month, we have 182 reviews on Amazon, more than any other book in the top 50. Here's the latest review:
Best book on the subject "June E. Thomas
This book was fantastic. I discovered a treatment option that my doctor would not even discuss with me. I am so happy that I took the time to read this book. After reading the book, I knew that proton therapy was the treatment for me. I hope that anyone contemplating surgery for prostate cancer will take the time to read this book before deciding on surgery. You will be amazed at the statistics and save yourself the agony of the potential for serious side effects from surgery.
Did you find Bob's book helpful?
Please help us to spread the word and educate others about proton therapy. If you found Bob's book to be helpful in making your proton treatment decision, please post a review on Amazon.
Once you are logged into your Amazon account, click here and click the "Create your own review" button. NOTE: Reviews can be just a few sentences"it only takes a few minutes. And, don't forget to rate the book from 1 to 5 stars!
Don't have an Amazon account? No problem. Sign up here"it's free.
Available in Amazon's Kindle format, Barnes & Noble's NOOK Book, and Apple iBook format
Buy the Kindle version now for $9.99.
Don't have a Kindle? No problem"just download the free Kindle reading software for your smart phone or tablet.
Buy the NOOK Book version now for $9.99.
Don’t have a NOOK? No problem. Just download the free NOOK reading app for your Android smart phone, tablet, or iDevice.
Buy the book from the iTunes store for $9.99 for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in iBook format.
Proceeds from book sales are used to help fund BOB efforts and to support proton therapy research.
Ask about our bulk discount for hard copy books for anyone interested in spreading the word about proton therapy: DHickey@protonbob.com
odds & ends
Conventional Radiation Patient
Regrets Not Choosing Proton
Below are some excerpts from an e-mail we received from a gentleman who chose conventional radiation to treat his prostate cancer:
There is one very good reason for using protons. I am a physicist and a prostate cancer patient who should have known better.
The lesson to learn is that protons have a finite range. They can be focused to deposit most of their energy at the end of this range. Standard gamma ray machines cannot focus these projectiles dispersing them widely in the body.
The conclusion is obvious and incontrovertible despite what some radiation oncologists say: With protons there is less damage to surrounding tissue. The rectum closely abuts the prostate, so proctitis, though less extensive, is possible, but damage to all important production of healthy red blood cells is non-existent. I suffered severe anemia, a 40% drop in hemoglobin within a year after my regular radiation treatment.
Many supposedly qualified specialists are lacking in basic physical knowledge, even in conversations after the event, and are stubbornly insistent on this or that study in the face of the self-evident physics.
Medicine can be of high class in the US but only if you are knowledgeable, not panicked, and able to choose the right treatment, physician, and medical center.
Why are the Geographic North Pole and Magnetic North Pole in Different Locations?
From Parade Magazine: The geographic North Pole marks one end of the earth's axis of rotation. However, this rotation alone is not what causes our magnetic field. Our planet also has deep layers – the inner and outer cores – that spin, and at different rates. This process creates currents and convections in the molten outer core. All of this action generates an effect like a huge electromagnet, creating one magnetic pole in the north and another in the south. They don't correspond to the geographic poles, which are just one visible factor in the whole complex phenomenon. This is why the magnetic poles are not located at the geographic poles and wander constantly – daily, in fact.
The Scale of the Universe
This is for all you engineers, scientists, and astronomer wannabes. This was sent to us by BOB member, Dr. Ron Yedloutschnig (Dr. Y as they call him), and it will blow your mind. Click here and visit the world around us on a scale you've never seen before.
By dragging the oval bar from side-to-side you will see things in our universe at proper scale, from things as tiny as 0.0000000001 yoctometers, to as large as a galaxy. It sure helps put our inconsequential planet earth in perspective. And, be careful, you could spend hours here. And be sure to turn on your speakers; the sound is appropriate. We found this site fascinating. See if you can find the proton.
Did You Know THIS About Your Body?
The human body is a treasure trove of mysteries, one that still confounds doctors and scientists about the details of its working. It's not an overstatement to say that every part of your body is a miracle. Last month, we gave you five interesting facts about your body. Below are five more"again, most will surprise you.
|About 32 million bacteria call every inch of your skin home. But don't worry, a majority of these are harmless or even helpful bacteria.|
|The colder the room you sleep in, the higher the chances are that you'll have a bad dream.|
|Human lips have a reddish color because of the great concentration of tiny capillaries just below the skin.|
|Three hundred million cells die in the human body every minute.|
|Like fingerprints, every individual has a unique tongue print that can be used for identification.|
Next month, we'll post three more interesting facts about the human body and continue doing so for the next two months.
on the lighter side
Last Month's Brain Teaser: Man and the Elevator
A man lives in an apartment building on the 12th floor. Every day when he goes home from work, he takes the elevator up to the 8th floor, and then takes the stairs the remaining 4 floors. The elevator is fully functioning and he does not do this for exercise. Why does he do this?
The man is very short and cannot reach the button for the 12th floor. He can only reach the button for the 8th floor, so he takes the stairs from the 8th to the 12th floor.
Gary Berkson of La Quinta, California, was the first to submit the correct answer to last month's brain teaser. Gary is currently Music Director of The Peninsula Symphony and The Desert Symphony in California. Previously, he spent thirty years as Symphony Conductor with The Royal Opera House in Stockholm, Sweden.
Gary tells us that his PSA continues to drop. He has suffered "no side effects" from his proton treatment. Gary also strongly encourages others to look into proton and not be discouraged by possible negative opinions by their local doctor.
Congratulations, Gary! Your signed book is on the way.
New Brain Teaser: Surviving the Fire
Alexander is stranded on an island covered in forest. One day, when the wind is blowing from the west, lightning strikes the west end of the island and sets fire to the forest. The fire is very violent, burning everything in its path, slowly moving from west to east, and without intervention, the fire will burn the whole island, killing the man in the process.
There are cliffs around the island, so he cannot jump off.
How can the Alexander survive the fire? Note: There are no buckets or any other means to put out the fire.
Answer next month: The first to send an e-mail to DHickey@protonbob.com with the correct answer will receive a signed copy of Bob's book. No cheating by using the Internet!
An elderly Florida lady did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her lungs, "I have a gun and I know how to use it! GET OUT OF THE CAR!"
The four men didn't wait for a second threat. They got out and ran like mad.
The lady, somewhat shaken, proceeded to load her shopping bags into the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition. She tried and tried, and then she realized why. It was for the same reason she had wondered why there was a football, a Frisbee, and a six-pack of beer in the back seat. It wasn't her car!
A few minutes later, she found her own car parked five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting a car-jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed.
Moral of the story? If you're going to have a senior moment … make it memorable!
The Way to Heaven
A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery store. As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked, "Son, can you tell me where the Post Office is?"
The little boy replied, "Sure! Just go straight down this street a couple of blocks and turn to your right."
The man thanked the boy kindly and said, "I'm the new pastor in town. I'd like for you to come to church. I'll show you how to get to Heaven."
The little boy replied with a chuckle, "You're kidding me, right? You don't even know the way to the Post Office!"
Quote of the Month
"Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own.
You may both be wrong."
Today is All We Have
Here's a photo of Bobby Leach, a performer with the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He survived a plunge over Niagara Falls on July 25, 1911, in this steel barrel and lived to tell about it.
Fourteen years later, in New Zealand, he slipped on an orange peel and died.
Dr. Lynn Martell often reminds us that yesterday is gone; tomorrow may never come; and today is all we have. So, live for today, for you never know what tomorrow may bring.
Low PSAs to all,
Bob Marckini and Deb Hickey
You can download this month's BOB Tales in PDF format to your computer by "right-clicking" ("control-clicking" on Mac) and going to the "Save Target As… " option on the menu that pops up.
NO MEDICAL ADVICE: Material appearing here represents opinions offered by non-medically-trained laypersons. Comments shown here should NEVER be interpreted as specific medical advice and must be used only as background information when consulting with a qualified medical professional.