WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 34

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping young cancer patients win back their lives.

BACK FROM USA AFTER PROTON THERAPY

Connor Wood, a brave 15-year-old schoolboy fighting a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma, is back home in Bolton, England after spending three months in the USA for specialist proton therapy. 

Connor was a fit and healthy teenager who enjoyed sports until he started feeling poorly in October and was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma just before Christmas. He underwent an operation before he flew out to America on May 18 with his mother and sister for the treatment, which was paid for the by the NHS as it is not yet available in this country. The teenager stayed in hospital when he had chemotherapy treatment and was a day release patient while having the proton beam therapy over the 12 weeks. He celebrated his 15th birthday in the United States, and the people of Bolton helped make his stay as comfortable as possible by raising thousands of pounds for him as he underwent the intensive treatment. His mom said: “The support and donations we received from the community was quite overwhelming. People helped ease some pressure of other worries. Connor has been so brave throughout his treatment, he was exhausted at times. When the chemotherapy and the PBT took place at the same time it was very hard for him.” Now back at home, Connor is relaxing after the treatment and is still undergoing chemotherapy at Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital three days a week every three weeks. He is now itching to get back to school.

Source: http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/bolton/15466113.Brave_schoolboy_back_home_after_undergoing_specialist_cancer_treatment_in_America/

 

LIFE TWO YEARS AFTER CANCER TREATMENT

Matt Rackley, a 27-year-old father-of-two who travelled to America for brain cancer proton treatment, is talking about life two years later: “Don’t take anything for granted and don’t give up” is his advice.     

It’s been more than two-and-a-half years since Matt returned from Oklahoma after undergoing proton therapy. And since then, the 27-year-old has married long-term partner Hollie, had a second child who is now 6 months old, returned to work as an electrician and even started his own business. When asked what he had learned from his experience, he said: “Don’t take anything for granted, at all. At one point I was very close to being in a wheelchair. I found out I probably should have gone in one, but that was my thing and I think if I had it would have knocked me right down. But having Hollie and my family and my whole community coming together, I knew I was very lucky.” The Matt’s Fund campaign collected £175,000 to pay for the treatment, which is not expected to be available on the NHS until next year. He has yet to be given the all-clear, but doctors have declared his condition stable and he now requires check-ups every six months. Now, his message to anyone going through a similar ordeal is simply ‘don’t give up’, even if he admits he was scared by the prospect of missing his son, who was just two when the family travelled to America, grow up.

Source: http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/gallery/maidenhead/119162/dad-matt-rackley-talks-about-life-two-years-after-cancer-treatment.html

 

PEDIATRIC RHABDOMYOSARCOMA SURVIVOR

Colt Wilson, a brave 4-year-old who has been fighting a rare form of rhabdomyosarcoma, has just been given the all clear and is now cancer free 327 days after his family heard the word “cancer” that would forever changer their lives. 

In August 2016, shortly after Colt’s third birthday, doctors discovered a tumor in his bladder known as rhabdomyosarcoma, which then spread into his prostate, which is very rare for pediatric patients. “That day will forever be engrained in my broken heart, my anxiety ridden mind, my baby boy’s life forever”, his mom said. Colt endured 43 weeks of chemotherapy and 28 days of proton therapy. Through it all, he kept up his vibrant, feisty attitude lighting up the room with his smile and strong personality with every one he met. Colt’s story has been one that has been shared in various media outlets going viral, as his mother wanted to do everything she could to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research. “It’s made me want to fight for more and more kids so that one day researchers will know what caused this cancer,” she said. Colt’s tumor is one of the hardest kind to measure because the bladder moves constantly and the fluid in the bladder makes the tumor look different every single time. Fortunately, last July, Colt was given the cancer-free diagnosis.

Source: http://www.protonpals.org/2017/08/15/colt-wilson-pediatric-rhabdomyosarcoma-cancer-survivor/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 33

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is giving hope to cancer patients of all ages. 

HELP EVE CELEBRATE HER BIRTHDAY

The family of Eve Gascoigne, a 6-year-old brave little girl from the UK who was diagnosed with an extremely rare brain tumor, have appealed to the public to send her birthday cards to celebrate her recovery.

Eve was diagnosed with myoepithelial carcinoma, a very rare brain tumor that only affects eight people globally, after a routine visit at the optician’s in November 2016. She was only expected to get a new pair of glasses to correct a squint but was instead rushed for immediate surgery to remove the tumor. Eve’s family also set up a fundraising appeal earlier this year to send her to America for proton therapy, which raised over £17,000. Eve flew to Jacksonville, Florida for nine weeks of radiation therapy, which is hoped to have removed the full tumor. She has now thankfully returned to her usual life without any side effects and her mom said that she deserves a very special day. She has urged the public to support her brave daughter on her birthday on August 28 after a challenging year: “I thought it would be a really nice idea to try and get as many birthday cards as possible for Eve to open. She deserves a big day.” Eve will have her first MRI scan a few days after her birthday and her family are praying to hear good news. “She’s such a fighter,” her mom concluded.

Source: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/health/can-you-help-to-put-a-smile-on-the-face-of-brave-yorkshire-birthday-girl-eve-1-8696354

 

REFLECTING ON THE FUTURE AFTER PT

Whitney Hoffer, a 33-year-old mom who found out she had cancer when she was only 18 weeks pregnant, has celebrated her daughter’s birthday last week, reflecting with thankfulness and hope for the future. 

In November 2015, Whitney and her husband Billy learned that they were going to have their second baby. But a few months later, Whitney began noticing some symptoms that she attributed to pregnancy. “I noticed a swollen area on my neck and had some neck and back pain,” she recalls. When the pain and swelling had not gone away, she decided to see her obstetrician for an ultrasound and possible MRI. After many tests and a needle biopsy on the swollen lymph node, she was ultimately diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was 28 weeks pregnant. “I had four rounds of chemotherapy and then a C-section on, June 22 2016”. She completed her last chemotherapy infusion on Oct. 3, but her treatment was not quite finished: “Because they weren’t able to do some of the necessary scans when I was pregnant, due to concern for the baby’s health, they wanted to do follow up with radiation as a precaution,” she says. “They decided that I was a good candidate for proton beam radiation therapy.” She began her treatment in November 2016. “I had 20 rounds of radiation—daily treatments (for four consecutive weeks)—on my neck and chest area,” she says. She had very few side effects from proton treatments, and as a way to further celebrate treatment being in her rearview mirror and her ability and strength to overcome anything, she ran the Flying Pig Marathon in spring 2017. Today, with her scans showing no sign of cancer, she is just happy to return to normal, everyday life.

Source: http://healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/29275/

 

OVERCOMING MESOTHELIOMA WITH PT 

Yvette King, a 52-year-old survivor of pleural mesothelioma, wishes to use her strength and story to assist others battling this aggressive type of cancer. 

In October 2015, Yvette began struggling with breathing and developed an agonizing cough. Her doctor discovered a mass on her lung and she was rushed to the hospital to get multiple scans, which revealed a stage 3 pleural mesothelioma. She immediately began investigating on the web to learn as much as she could about the disease and meet other people fighting the same cancer. The next couple of weeks were filled with chemotherapy to shrink the golf-ball-sized growth on her lung. Two months into her treatment, the growth had diminished enough for her to get approved for surgery and she had her entire lung removed. Throughout the treatments, she constantly asked physicians to be up front with her. “I’m not scared of what you will tell me,” she remembers telling them. This strength guided her through all treatment choices and continues to guide her today. In March 2016, she began proton therapy in Maryland. Right after the diagnosis, she kicked her running into high gear, improved her diet plan and prioritized exercising. “I was home every day, so I aimed to exercise a lot to keep myself going,” she said. “Now I’m breathing much better than typical individuals breathe with two lungs.” After her diagnosis, Yvette launched an online journal to share her story, and it is her desire to inspire and help others that drives her today.

Source: http://www.channelthreesixfive.com/2017/08/06/survivor-overcomes-mesothelioma-with-proton-therapy-faith/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 32

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is revolutionizing the treatment of childhood cancer and giving hope to patients from all over the world. 

MAHAM’S PROTON THERAPY FUND

Mahan, a 3-year-old girl from the UK, was only 10 months old when she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor mainly affecting children.

Back in 2015, Maham was rushed straight to the hospital to undergo multiple surgeries on her brain, and then received chemotherapy over the course of 8 months. After that, she was well on her way to recovery despite the fact that her ability to walk and eat properly had been affected by treatment. Now aged 3, Maham and her family just received another blow when they learned that her tumor had returned. Her doctors have suggested that she should receive radiotherapy. As traditional radiotherapy could be very detrimental to her health and well being and present very long lasting side affects, her parents want to try and get her pioneering proton therapy, which will not be available in the UK until 2018 but is particularly suitable to complex childhood cancers. To offer Maham a greater chance of success at beating her disease, her parents are trying to raise £100.000 and are urgently requiring funds due to risk of the cancer spreading through her bloodstream.

Source: https://www.gofundme.com/mahams-cancer-treatment-fund

 

PT AS BEST OPTION FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER

Treatment options for childhood cancer are no longer narrowed down to chemotherapy and surgery only, as evidenced by doctors at ProCure Proton Therapy Center at Somerset, who have used a new way to turn Ben Lepisto’s life around.

16-year-old Ben was diagnosed with medulloblastoma last year, a fast-growing high-grade tumor located in the part of the brain that regulated muscular coordination, after he experienced blurring eyesight and fatigue. According to Dr. Brian Chon, medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood, and it accounts for about 20% of all childhood brain tumors. Proton therapy is a more accurate way to target cancer cells, has more tolerable and less severe side effects, both short-term and long-term, than X-ray radiation. This treatment option is thus especially important for the fight against childhood cancers since young patient’s bodies are still developing and maturing. “More and more medical literature is emerging, indicating that using proton therapy is likely to reduce the risk of radiation-induced cancers,” said Dr. Chon. Historically, medulloblastoma has led to grave outcomes in children and teens, but with improvements in medical technology and the addition of proton therapy, oncologists like Chon have seen better outcomes for patients like Ben. “We’re lucky to have been able to treat Ben with proton therapy and help pave a path forward for him to a healthy, happy and normal future.” Today, Ben is cancer-free and looking ahead to the upcoming school year.

Source: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/health/2017/07/31/proton-therapy-holds-promise-best-new-treatment-option-childhood-cancers/501175001/

 

POLICEMAN BATTLING BRAIN TUMOR

Nick Tant, a police officer from the Edmond Police Department in Oklahoma, USA is battling a brain tumor along with surgeries and chemotherapy treatments. His department are raising money to help his family through this ordeal.

Nick, beloved husband and father of 2 daughters, began experiencing headaches and other minor symptoms over a 10-day period last October, and was diagnosed with grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma. He was soon taken into a lengthy surgery to remove the tumor on his brain, and has since then gone through proton therapy and extensive chemo. He is currently getting a maintenance chemo treatment every month for five days, and is expected to undergo more surgeries within the coming months.  “You can imagine the medical bills. This is where you come in,” the Edmond Police Department said in a post on their Facebook page. For the fifth year, the police department will host the Matt Terry Softball Tournament on October 1, 2017 at the Edmond 66 Park Softball Complex. The tournament will start at 8 a.m. and will go through the afternoon, and all of the money raised will go to the Tant family.

Source: http://kfor.com/2017/07/27/edmond-police-department-asking-for-your-help-as-officer-battles-brain-tumor-chemo-treatments/

WEEKLY WEB REVIEW – WEEK 31

Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is helping patients of all ages and origins in their fight against cancer. 

CALLING FOR PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING

Richard Joscelyne, a 72-year-old man from Essex, is calling for a national PSA screening programme after his life was potentially saved by a £40 blood test he purchased online.  

It all started when Richard became concerned about blood in his urine: “I was noticing a slight reduction in flow and on one occasion I thought I saw blood.” After doing some research, he mentioned a test to his family doctor that measures the levels of prostate specific antigen in the body known as PSA test, but he was reluctant to offer him the test due to its potential unreliable results. Richard thus decided to buy the test online: “His argument was it was a flawed test that can give false negatives and false positives. So I got one myself online and took the test at home.” Richard’s test came back at 5.65, which was normal for a man of his age, but over the next 4 months he saw his readings steadily increase until he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August. Richard researched his treatment options and decided to undergo proton therapy at the Proton Therapy Center in the Czech Republic. He is now cancer free. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with over 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Richard said: “There is a certain level of embarrassment related to prostate cancer. So my view is the more it’s talked about the better it is. Education is key, as is the PSA test.” The charity Support & Influencing at Prostate Cancer UK recommends that men over 50 – and men over 45 if they are Black or have a family history of the disease – discuss the pros and cons of the PSA test with their family doctor.

Source: http://newspig.co.uk/this-symptom-prompted-man-to-spend-40-on-his-own-prostate-cancer-test/

 

SOFA-BOUND AFTER BRAIN SURGERY

Freddie Hunt, a 3-year-old boy who had a tumor the size of his fist removed from his brain, is now sofa-bound after his cancer battle and keeps on gaining weight as a rare side effect of brain surgery.  

Freddie was diagnosed with hypothalamic hamartoma in September last year, when he was admitted to hospital for epileptic seizures. A brain scan revealed a brain tumor the size of a fist so deeply embedded in the tissue that the NHS refused to fund the operation due to the high risk of brain damage. Heartbroken, his parents David and Abi turned to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona, US and, with the help of surgery and proton beam therapy, most of the tumor was removed. But just 20 days after going under the knife, the toddler’s belly began to bloat to an unbelievable size, despite a constantly upset stomach and frequent vomiting. As a result of the invasive brain surgery, Freddie had developed hypothalamic obesity, a condition caused by damaging a nerve in the brain that controls the body’s metabolism. As a result, Freddy’s brain keeps on telling his body to store more food.  Five months later, the 3-year-old weighs 37.84 kilos and can no longer walk on his own or even sit up. Knowing, that the fat retained in his body is already putting a strain on his liver and heart, David and Abi are desperate for a cure, but are running out of alternatives. Despite being blind in one eye because of the tumor, Freddie smiles when someone asks how he is doing, and replies with a timid “Good, thank you.” When he isn’t seeing his doctors, physiotherapist or speech therapist, Freddie enjoys playing with his Peppa Pig toy and watches his big sister Holly play games on her iPad. “He has been so amazing. It’s our current inspiration, to be honest, because he is so happy and he doesn’t moan,” his parent said.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/boy-3-weighs-six-stone-10910885

 

10 YEAR OLD FIGHTS CANCER 

Emilie Gibson, a 10-year-old girl from Shreveport in Louisiana, has been fighting cancer since she was diagnosed in September 2016 with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

When Trey Gibson, Emilie’s father, was reading about Senator John McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis, he realized that something was missing in almost all of the articles about his condition: “There was not a single mention of children in there and if we’re not telling the whole story children get left out.” This drove him to tell his daughter’s story. After her diagnosis last year, Emilie started proton therapy treatment in San Francisco. She quickly became tired of traveling but as it turns out, Willis Knighton in Shreveport now has a proton pencil beam radiation machine, one of only a few in the country. Her doctor said that the benefit of proton therapy is minimizing the low dose to all the non targeted areas, and a precise target means the surrounding tissue will not be damaged by radiation and there will be less side effects. “Our goal is to maintain her quality of life as long as we can and for her to enjoy her life and spend her time as she thinks is the most important for her at this time.” Emilie begins 5th grade at Legacy Elementary in Bossier in August. She is looking forward to meeting her teacher and being a cheerleader for her school.

Source: http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/news/local-news/10-year-old-fights-cancer-in-shreveport/777766164