Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment modality is allowing patients to enjoy their lives and make plans for the future.
RAISING FUNDS FOR 8-YEAR-OLD’S CANCER TREATMENT
Indiana Corr-Day was diagnosed with cancer last December, after doctors discovered an astrocytoma glioma tumor in her brainstem. Her family are now hoping to raise £4,000 to fly her to America for pioneering brain cancer treatment.
Indiana’s diagnosis came from her being unable to grip a pen properly. Her mom said: “That was the thing we couldn’t really get our heads around, the fact she didn’t have any real symptoms such as headaches or blackouts”. The little girl underwent surgery in the new year to remove most of the tumor, but the next stage of her treatment involves pioneering proton therapy at the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma. “Indiana was offered traditional radiotherapy, but it is quite intensive and there’s a chance it could damage her quality of life in the future”. Her mom thus launched an online appeal on Thursday to prepare for a 3-month trip to the States and get her specialized proton therapy. The appeal raised £1,000 in its first 24 hours and mother and daughter hope to make the trip in two weeks’ time. Indiana’s mom said: “The flights have been covered, but we’ll be out there for three months so the appeal is to help cover general costs. The fact it has raised just over £1,000 already shows the generosity of residents, and I’d like to thank everybody who has donated. It means so much to us all.”
COUPLE CELEBRATING THE GIFT OF PROTON THERAPY
Joe and Joyce Hampton, age 75 and 72 respectively, didn’t expect to be both diagnosed with cancer, let alone go through the same medical treatment to fight it.
Joe was diagnosed first with prostate cancer. It was devastating news for the couple, especially since they both enjoy being physically active, traveling the country and volunteering in Redding, California, where they have been living for 35 years. After Joe discussed various treatments with his oncologist, he was told about the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego, where he could undergo a form of radiation that would be more precise and have fewer side effects. Being a former X-ray technician, Joe understood the benefits of proton therapy and was immediately on board. However, not long after he finished his treatment in November 2014, Joyce was diagnosed with cancer in her left breast. What made her case especially complicated is that she also has atrial fibrillation of the heart. Since the organs affected were both on the left side, she knew she needed to go through accurate treatment. “I didn’t want radiation getting the heart,” she said. And after seeing Joe go through his treatment, she immediately agreed to receive proton therapy, which she began in February 2015 and finished in less than three weeks. She said she also didn’t want to deal with all the skin burns that came with radiation therapy. Now, she just has a discolored area. “We were really pleased with it,” Joyce said. They both had follow-up appointments in November, and according to Joe, doctors said they’re both doing “outstanding.”
RETIRED POLICE CHIEF PRAISING PROTON THERAPY
Bill Sneddon of Toms River, New Jersey is a 71-year-old former police chief who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. Now thriving and active in his community, he is spreading the word about proton therapy.
Bill Sneddon has worked with his township police department for 34 years, serving as chief for 22 years. Being active and part of the community is just in his DNA, and now retired and with his three children all grown up, he spends a lot of time pursuing his many hobbies. Bill was thus very shocked when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. When he discussed his options with his urologist, he was really nervous that the side effects of radiation therapy could slow him down. But then Bill learned about proton therapy from a close friend, who encouraged him to look into it. After conducting his own research and receiving support from his local urologist, he felt it was the right option for him. At 71 years old, Bill is now a proud graduate of ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset and he couldn’t be happier. “It was like a five-star hotel for me,” he said, “I actually looked forward to going to the center every day for treatment.” He has now become a “ProCure Patient Ambassador” to educate other men about proton therapy as an option. His messages include: “Do your research,” “become an empowered patient” and “find a caring and supportive community.” Today Bill feels wonderful and is back to his active lifestyle. His PSA reading is 0,2, exactly the same as it was since the end of his treatment. “You can’t get any lower than that,” he said.