WEB REVIEW – Proton Therapy, a new way of fighting cancer

When Mike Buettner learned he had prostate cancer, it was a scary shock. As a pastor, he had presided many cancer patients’ funerals. Now he’s cancer-free, after undergoing a newer kind of radiation therapy in an Oklahoma City clinic.

He now wants to get the word out about being aware of prostate cancer. And he is an advocate for the treatment he received : proton therapy.

Buettner’s story began with an annual physical. His blood showed elevated PSA levels (a test that measures proteins produced by the prostate gland). Levels continued to rise during the next months, indicating an aggressive cancer. A biopsy confirmed it.

Although 67, Buettner is active, with eight adopted children. He was very concerned about being slowed down by possible side effects of treatment or the aftermath.

He and his wife began researching treatment options. A younger brother, who lives in Oklahoma City, suggested to look into ProCure, a cancer treatment center that offers a newer form of radiation therapy with fewer side effects.

Buettner said he was thankful that his family physician discovered the illness and for diagnosis and advice he got from his cancer doctors in Kansas City, who could have treated him with other radiation techniques. But he also thinks patients should take an active role deciding on what’s their particular best option.

Buettner was fortunate that he could live with his brother in Oklahoma City for nine-weeks of daily treatment, otherwise he could not have afforded that option. He had good insurance to cover the medical costs. His church gave him medical leave.

He said he was determined to avoid incontinence. He finished his treatments last week without experiencing those problems.

While undergoing treatment, he was even able to be a guest preacher in Oklahoma and help with a revival. “I wanted to know what we can do to have the best results without any side effects,” Buettner said. “Each one of us should be in control of their life.”

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