WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 43

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients pull through their illness and make new life projects.

STAFF RAISING £2.5K FOR CANCER TREATMENT

A charity day for 8-year-old Charly Ilsley who is fighting against a brain tumor raised more than £2,500 to pay for revolutionary treatment.

Charlie has already had to endure surgery, two bouts of chemotherapy and hours of radiotherapy since he was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. The staff at the supermarket where his mother works dressed in yellow on Saturday and collected donations for Charlie, as his parents are trying to raise up to £200,000 to pay for proton therapy treatment, so he doesn’t have to have radiotherapy again if the disease returns. His grandmother said: “If the treatment is going the way we want it they will carry on. If it’s not to Charlie’s advantage, if the treatment doesn’t appear to be working, they will stop.” The family was delighted with the amount of money raised. A colleague of Charlie’s mother said: “For me it’s quite personal. We wish her and her son well and the family.” The store manager added: “I’m absolutely amazed by the response, amazed by the support my colleagues and all of our customers have given us. It exceeded all of my expectations of how much we would raise for Charlie. We were delighted that we could help him and try and raise this money to potentially send Charlie for the treatment and I know it’s something all of the team have wanted to support and many of the customers with something so local.” The store will be organizing more fund-raising events for the youngster in the New Year.

Source: http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/news.php?id=41502

 

SENIOR BEATS CANCER

67-year-old Mike Kastl is happy to do most anything now that he has beaten prostate cancer. When he’s not bouncing his grandbabies around, this former teacher is spreading the word to other men about the importance of annual checkups.

Mike knows cancer. In 2009, he was first hit with his wife’s diagnosis of bile duct cancer. A trip to the Mayo Clinic in Houston followed, as did a life expectancy of three-to-five years. “She only lasted two,” he said. It was during this time that Mike found ProCure Proton Therapy Center for himself. After an annual checkup, he learned his PSA score had doubled. It was a big enough jump to be referred to a urologist for a biopsy, which revealed he had prostate cancer. His options were radiation, surgery and then a new type of treatment called proton therapy. “My urologist kind of blew that last treatment off but I was taking notes,” Mike said. “When somebody says you’ve got the big C, you start listening real close. I was online 24/7 looking at prostate cancer treatments.” His research led him to contact the new ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City that was just being finished. He began his first of 44 treatments in August of 2009 and holds the distinction of being ProCure’s first prostate patient. “The quality of life is what makes ProCure, I think, much better,” he said. “My quality of life is better for having gone to ProCure. No side effects. I didn’t lose any hair. I was out working cattle.” Today, he’s telling other men about prostate cancer, as he strongly believes that checkups saved his life. Mike is now remarried and has a new lease on life. And he enjoys all the extra time he has to spend with his grandkids.

Source: http://seniornewsandliving.com/featured/quality-of-life-senior-beats-cancer/

 

SURVIVOR BECOMES CANCER AWARENESS ADVOCATE

To say that Tammy Coleman has a complicated medical history is an understatement. With two heart attacks, a stroke, congestive heart failure and high blood pressure from her father’s side, she didn’t escape breast cancer from her mother’s side either.

Genetic testing revealed that it was likely she would develop ovarian cancer too, so in one day Tammy went in for a double mastectomy and complete hysterectomy in hopes of beating the odds. “I was in surgery 9 to 10 hours,” she says. After surgery came chemotherapy, through which she physically broke down. Her family found themselves overwhelmed by her illness and kept a distance, except for her son Rodney, who had been by her side since age 15 and the start of her medical problems. He’s now 21. The two used to live across the street from the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, and after being diagnosed with cancer, Tammy’s doctors recommended proton therapy rather than conventional radiation because of her heart condition and other health issues. But she wasn’t so sure. “When I first walked into Provision I was a nervous wreck. I was so scared. I knew protons are still radiation. I thought, ‘That looks like the weirdest machine I’ve seen in my entire life, and you want me to lay on that table?’” Her fears were unfounded, however, and she and Rodney say they discovered a second home at Provision. Since her cancer diagnosis, Tammy has become a fierce advocate for breast cancer awareness. She’s also become an advocate for Provision. “This is my passion now,” she says.

Source: http://protonstories.com/tammy-c/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 42

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping sick children and their families battle and overcome cancer.

FANTASTIC HELP FOR BRAVE BRETT      

9-year-old Brett Scott from the UK will travel to the US next week for 11 weeks of proton therapy thanks to the fantastic response to his fundraising campaign. This will be the latest round of his treatment in a battle against brain cancer he has bravely waged since 2009.

At the age of 3, Brett was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor known as anaplastic ependymoma. Following surgery and chemotherapy, which resulted in mobility, sight and hearing problems, scans appeared to show the tumor had shrunk. He was able to return to school and enjoy a normal childhood. But six months ago tests revealed the cancer had returned, and Brett underwent an operation at St James’s Hospital in Leeds last month. Doctors have decided that proton therapy is now his best chance of beating the disease. Although the NHS will pay for the operation, the family’s flights, the cost of their accommodation and a hire car, a fundraising campaign was launched on Facebook to support the family during their 11-week stay. Brett’s family also hopes enough funds will be raised to enable Brett’s 17-year-old sister to be with her brother for part of his treatment in the US. Describing the response to the fundraising appeal, Brett’s father said: “It has been just an outstanding response and quite humbling. The community has rallied behind Brett. We have had contributions from our area and from as far as America and Canada. I’d really like to thank everyone.”

Source : http://www.holderness-gazette.co.uk/art081015bravebrett.htm

 

4-YEAR-OLD’S FAMILY FIGHTING FOR CANCER TREATMENT

The family of a 4-year-old girl with an inoperable brain tumor has vowed to fight to find a cure despite doctors estimating she may have just two years to live. They are hoping proton therapy will be able to help their daughter.

Lena Grabowski, 4, is currently undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy in a bid to shrink the extensive brainstem glioblastoma discovered during a trip to Poland: Lena was visiting family with her parents, when the 4 cm brain tumor was diagnosed after she had problems with her vision. Her parents have launched a fundraising mission to raise £75,000 to fund groundbreaking proton beam therapy, but doctors are now questioning whether the youngster would be a suitable candidate for the treatment. Lena’s mom said: “After consultation with many doctors we are coming up against the same thing – that all treatments at the moment that can be undertaken will extend the life of our child but not cure her. We have been told that our beloved daughter will live, in the best-case scenario, one or two years from now. We have a long way to go and will continue in the relentless search for a cure – as any parent would. We live in hope that the prognosis is wrong and Lena lives a long full happy life.” Since the fundraising page was launched, £35,514 has been raised and it is hoped proton therapy treatment may still be an option after treatment to shrink the tumor. “We hope she will be strong enough to make the best of the time she has left of her life and make her dreams and wishes come true. We just want our daughter to live the best life possible, happy and without pain over the coming days, months and years.”

Source : http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/health/local-health/family-fight-for-brain-tumour-treatment-for-lena-four-1-7507917

 

TODDLER THRIVING AFTER SUCCESSFUL CANCER TREATMENT

A brave toddler who captured the attention of people throughout Wales in the UK with her cancer battle is now in school and thriving according to her mom.

Little Freya Bevan from Wales, UK was diagnosed with a primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) last year, and underwent numerous operations and chemotherapy sessions. Her family had hoped she would get NHS funding for proton beam therapy in America, but following a nine-week wait, they found out that it would not happen. The family then set about raising funds to get Freya to America to have the lifesaving treatment they could not afford alone. Their efforts were noticed by media outlets across the country and hundreds of thousands were donated to their cause. Despite being some way off their target earlier this year, their prayers were answered when charity Kids n Cancer offered a lifeline in the form of proton beam treatment at the ProCure proton therapy center in Oklahoma. Now, five months on from the end of her ten-week treatment in America, Freya is thriving, and is now attending school in the mornings. Her mom says she is doing very well, and that she is very happy to have things back to normal. “Thanks to the successful treatment, she’s now full of energy and life, just like any little girl her age should be. She is just so well, there are no signs of headaches or tiredness. She is just really happy, which makes us really happy in return!”

Source : http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Toddler-Freya-Bevan-thriving-new-school/story-27968831-detail/story.html

 

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 41

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality can sometimes be the only answer for cancer patients running out of options.

3-YEAR-OLD BATTLING CANCER A SECOND TIME

Three-year-old Damian Creed from North Naples, Florida was thought to be nearly cured of a childhood cancer, until his parents learned it had spread to his brain, leaving him a 50/50 chance of survival.

Damien has brain cancer, discovered after he had undergone what his parents believed had been a successful fight against a childhood cancer that resulted in the loss of an eye… The family’s struggles began about 18 months ago: when Damian’s mom Sarah was changing his diaper one day, she noticed that his pupil was fixed and dilated. She used a cellphone flash to see if the boy’s eye would respond, but nothing happened, and she called her husband to come home. “We rushed him over to the hospital”, she said. “They did a CT scan and found a mass.” Doctors returned with a diagnosis of  retinoblastoma, a form of cancer of the eye that most often hits children 3 or younger. The treatment was intra-arterial chemotherapy, which is an attempt to save the eye by using micro catheters to introduce medicine directly to the eye. The technique is intended to salvage the eye by avoiding radiation treatment. “They did that seven times, and in January 2015, he was deemed pretty good, still had a tumor but they felt pretty confident that it was almost calcified, or dead,” Sarah said. But these seven sessions with powerful chemotherapy drugs had left Damian’s immune system weakened, and the findings led to a recommendation that treatment be extended over time to counter that effect. Last Tuesday, Sarah and Damian left their North Naples home for Jacksonville, for a six-week series of radiation treatments at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute.

Source : http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2015/10/06/bonita-springs-boy-3-battles-cancer-second-time/73412578/

 

ILLINOIS MAN TO RECEIVE LITTLE-USED CANCER TREATMENT

Teke Karsgaard from Jacksonville, Illinois will soon be receiving a 30 treatment proton therapy at a Chicago clinic for a cancerous teratoma sitting on the T-11 vertebrea of his spinal cord.

Diagnosed with testicular cancer 27 years ago, Teke has been battling cancer on and off for several years. His cancer spread, causing the formation of several teratomas throughout his body. “At that time, they gave me six months to live,” he said. “But some of the tumors weren’t cancerous as they originally thought.” His last round was 3 years ago, for a tumor on his spinal cord. Now Teke is fighting against a teratoma on the same spot and is scheduled to undergo specialized proton therapy, which is controlled more easily than traditional radiation. “It’s like a laser,” he said. “With radiation it’s like a flashlight, illuminating the area around it, but with protons it’s more focused and they can control the depth the protons go.” Which is a good thing in his case: because of his last round of radiation, his doctors are worried another round of radiation could cause some significant damage to the spinal cord that could leave him paralyzed. This treatment is not well known in central Illinois and even Teke’s doctors were not too familiar with the treatment. “It’s been around for a while, but not a lot of people know about it,” he said. “It’s also really expensive.” Despite going through years of treatments and illness, Teke said he still pushes on with the help of his family, his wife Alyson and son Ty, as well as some of the goals he sets for himself. His wife has been his support for 23 of the 27 years he’s been ill. “She’s been through it all with me, except those first four years,” he said. “She’s been my rock. The caregivers don’t get the recognition they deserve.”

Source : http://myjournalcourier.com/news/86763/local-man-to-receive-little-used-cancer-treatment

 

MIRACLE FOR REVEREND CANCER PATIENT

A Surprise “Kicking Cancer Party” was recently held at as a celebration of life in honor of Reverend Larry Sorah from Athens, Tennessee, who just finished his proton therapy treatment at the Provision Center in Knoxville.

Larry was first diagnosed in June of 2014 with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) the size of a grapefruit attached to his small intestine. He hadn’t had any symptoms, until he got to feeling sick, passed out and was taken to the ER at Athens hospital and then transferred to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga. By the time he arrived at Erlanger he was rushed to the OR for emergency surgery. The doctor told his wife he probably wouldn’t make it and that his situation was very critical. However, he made it through surgery just fine and spent a few days in ICU. When he woke up, he was surprised and thankful to be alive. But the battle wasn’t over. In May 2015, he went to a kidney specialist and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The doctor wanted to do radiation treatments but Larry told him he wanted to think about it first. He made some research and opted for proton therapy. He applied at the Provision Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, and had 39 treatments in eight weeks time. The medical staff at the Center have recently organized a “Kicking Cancer Party” for Larry to celebrate the end of his treatment with his doctors, family and friends.

Source : http://www.therogersvillereview.com/columns/article_c5cfa81e-6c55-11e5-849b-5bcc294a628c.html

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 40

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is accomplishing new milestones every day and helping cancer patients fight their disease.

SAMANTHA’S FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TREATMENT

Samantha Williams, a 22-year-old student from the UK, was looking forward to completing her studies of animal science at Plymouth University. But a cruel stroke of fate completely changed her plans. 

Last May, Samantha received the devastating diagnosis, as doctors told her that she had undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma in her sinuses and lymph nodes. Since then, she has undergone several operations followed by two bouts of chemotherapy. To complete her treatment, her doctors suggested that she underwent IRMT, a conventional type of irradiation. However, Samantha and her family had learned that this treatment could leave her with brain damage, and loss of sight and hearing, due to the close proximity of her brain, eyes and ears to the affected area. At that time, they researched her condition and came across advanced proton beam therapy, but when the family contacted the NHS about Samantha’s treatment, they received a negative reply. That’s why she had to go to Prague to receive her 8-week £65,000 treatment, and thanks to public donations and a crowd funding website, Samantha managed to raise most of the money to pay for it. September 23rd marked the last of her treatments at Prague Proton Center. She is now feeling good and only has mild side effects as a red skin and dry throat but she know this is nothing compared to what could have been the possible long-term or chronic side effects of traditional therapy. “The proton treatment was very well tolerated and the tumor is now in regression,” her doctor said.

Source : http://www.proton-cancer-treatment.com/media/news/from-ptc/my-fight-for-the-only-right-treatment-proton-therapy-in-prague/

 

UFPTI CROSSES MILESTONE IN PEDIATRIC CANCER CARE

An increasing number of children with cancer who need radiation are being treated at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute. Since opening in 2006, the institute has treated over 1,000 children, a milestone reached this month. It is currently the world’s largest pediatric PT program, serving 25-30 children each day.

Proton therapy is a specialized form of radiation treatment that minimizes damage to healthy tissue surrounding a tumor. It is especially important to limit radiation exposure in the rapidly growing bodies of children since their cells are more susceptible to radiation damage. The long-term benefit for survivors of childhood cancer treated with proton therapy is a reduced risk of developing radiation-induced chronic illness, low growth hormone production, secondary cancer or impaired IQ. The most common tumors in children treated with proton therapy at UFPTI are ependymoma, craniopharyngioma, low grade glioma, rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and medulloblastoma. “Since the majority of our pediatric patients are treated for sarcomas and brain tumors near critical healthy tissue, it is paramount to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure which can compromise growth and development,” said Daniel J. Indelicato, M.D., associate professor and director of pediatric radiotherapy at the University of Florida. “Our goal is to cure children with high dose radiation but still avoid side effects.” As part of an academic health center, a fundamental component of the University of Florida pediatric program is education. The doctors at the UFPTI are training the next generation of pediatric radiation oncologists. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day.

Source : http://www.floridaproton.org/news/uf-health-proton-therapy-institute-crosses-important-milestone-care-pediatric-cancer-patients

 

SURPRISE FOR 12-YEAR-OLD FINISHING PROTON TREATMENT

A 12-year-old girl who has just finished advanced proton therapy treatment for her cancer got a sendoff from the hospital staff that she’ll never forget. Instead of the traditional hugs and card, she got a fun flash-mob surprise.

Many years ago, Sophia was diagnosed with scoliosis and eventually treated with a brace worn 23 hours a day. Her back pained worsened and two years ago, an MRI ordered by her pediatrician revealed she had a large tumor growing on her spinal cord. She underwent major surgery to remove the tumor, but a year later tests revealed it had returned. At that point, her physicians suggested proton therapy. Sophia was the first pediatric patient to undergo this form of treatment at the Willis Knighton Proton Therapy Center. After completing her treatment, she was surprised flash mob style by the staff at the Center: on this special day, one of her nurses gave her a pair of sunglasses and led her out to the lobby. The staff was waiting for her, all wearing Sophia’s favorite footwear, Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. With Silento’s “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” playing, they all got up and danced together. The unexpected surprise was recorded, and the video posted on YouTube has already more than 3.000.000 views!

Sources : http://www.reshareworthy.com/hospital-staff-flash-mob-girl/ ; http://www.939myfm.com/onair/brooke-hunter-52223/willisknighton-cancer-center-proton-radiation-team-13974970