In early December, I visited the Proton Therapy Center for my initial consultation. From the meeting I had there with Dr. Haas, I realized that there was an opportunity to start proton therapy very quickly.
On January 5th, 2018 I was diagnosed with chordoma of the second cervical vertebrae. A partial laminectomy was performed at the Department of Neurology in the Military Hospital in Belgrade. Following the initial resection, I was advised to find a hospital which could treat my tumour using proton beam therapy. Upon completion of proton therapy, a surgery to stabilize the vertebrae would be performed.
On having an annual thyroid function blood test in February 2018 the phlebotomist suggested a PSA test to which I agreed. At the age of 77 it was surprising that I had never heard of PSA tests particularly as I had occasionally mentioned to doctors in the previous 15 years that there had been a gradual increase in the frequency with which I urinated.
This is a part of a text Nicky has written on his fundraising website:
“Completely out of the blue I got diagnosed in March with Prostate Cancer, I tripped over a paving stone in Spain and cracked a rib otherwise I may never have known.
My fight for the only right treatment – proton therapy in Prague!
Samantha Williams, a 22-year-old student from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, was looking forward to completing her studies of animal science at Plymouth University. She loves her studies and wants to work in conservation. But cruel stroke of fate changed her plans completely. Strangely, her destiny wanted her to postpone her final exams and spend several months in hospitals instead.
A Lichfield woman travelled to Prague for specialist treatment after being diagnosed with a brain tumour – which threatened to leave her blind. ALEX KELLER discovers more.
WHEN Lisa Hudson noticed her eyesight slowly deteriorating she put it down to her age.
Well, the staff are very supportive. They know who you are and so many develop a personal way of dealing with you even wishing me a Happy Birthday. I was only met with pleasantness, helpfulness and professionalism. English is spoken by most staff.
Initially my Urologist recommended a radical prostatectomy but I was concerned about the efficacy and adverse consequences of surgery. I requested a consultation with a Radiation Oncologist who suggested three months of hormone therapy followed by a course of standard radiotherapy over two months and a course of brachytherapy, followed by a further 18 months of hormones.
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer my medical team initially suggested Active Surveillance, a common option recommended to men in the UK with prostate cancer. This would have meant monitoring the cancer and waiting to see how it progresses before I would be treated. I was unhappy with this option so my medical team discussed other available treatments, such as conventional radiotherapy, brachytherapy and chemotherapy.
I am able to enjoy life now, knowing that I am fully treated and don’t suffer from any side effects from proton therapy. My son lives in Thailand with his Thai wife, and my wife and I divide our time between West Sussex in the summer and Thailand in the winter. There is nothing that I can’t do now that I could before the treatment. I recommend proton therapy because it can cure the problem quickly and painlessly with minimal problems afterwards.
I’m feeling very well and am optimistic about the future, my PSA level is now 0.86. I am now able to get back to riding my bike and enjoying the seaside where I live in Leigh-on-Sea. My son lives in Toronto and now that I have been successfully treated I can continue to visit him two or three times a year. I would unreservedly recommend treatment of prostate cancer at the PTC.
I initially had no symptoms of prostate cancer, I was diagnosed through a routine PSA test with my GP and was shocked to discover I had cancer. My diagnosis had a significant impact on my wife and three daughters, it caused them lots of distress and worry, resulting in many sleepless nights.
I felt my world turn upside down when the doctor told my husband he had prostate cancer. We didn’t have any further details and we were told the good news that this cancer put us straight onto the ‘Gateway’, so we had nothing to worry about getting it sorted.
But we did!
I was offered the radical prostatectomy as this surgery was apparently the best option for me. Following the conversation with my specialist I began seeking alternative treatments, the reason for this was mainly due to the concern of side-effects of the treatment offered to me.
I had no symptoms for prostate cancer but I was sent for a routine blood test which showed an elevated PSA reading and a biopsy followed.
The diagnosis was a total shock to say the least! I felt anxious and stressed and my wife also became very anxious and stressed.
As a phlebotomist I knew the dangers of prostate cancer, I suggested to my husband that he should have a PSA test as he was having a ‘well-man’ check. There were no symptoms of prostate cancer and men tend not to know much about prostate cancer and are not offered routine testing.
My symptoms for prostate cancer came all at once, I had to be taken to hospital as I couldn’t urinate but the diagnosis was very concerning for me. I suddenly found it very hard to sleep and concentrate, it didn’t help that I felt I wasn’t give enough information about all the treatments available.
My GP referred me to the urologist who began doing tests to understand the extent of the cancer, I was then recommended for radiotherapy treatment and to monitor my PSA levels. But by this point I had already decided on proton beam therapy so I automatically declined radiotherapy.
The available treatments in the UK weren’t explained all that well, in the end it was recommended that I underwent the Robotic radical prostatectomy with a 3-4 week wait before I got the operation. Following a consultation with my specialist I decided to research alternative forms of treatment as I didn’t like the side-effects of conventional treatments.
I was referred to the urologist who monitored my PSA reading, it wasn’t until my PSA score steadily increased to 14.6 that I got offered treatment. This was following my insistence that something needed to be done, but the NHS said no treatment was recommended for me; in the end they finally gave me the option of having a prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) and radiotherapy.
Getting up to urinate 2-3 times a night became a real annoyance, so I went to the GP who referred me to the urologist for tests- but nothing could have prepared me for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. I felt numb, couldn’t concentrate and felt anxious all the time, my family didn’t take the news well either they became concerned and stressed also.
‘Just in case’, that’s the only reason I found out about my prostate cancer, I had no symptoms for it whatsoever just some muscular problems, but my doctor tested me as a precaution, it was lucky he did.
I was recommended the prostatectomy- removal of the prostate, but I didn’t want the treatment it would have been a 2month wait and the side-effects weren’t the slightest bit appealing. During the wait for the operation my wife started looking at other options online, I tried herbal and vitamin D supplements at my wife’s request, we then looked into ultrasound treatment and then proton therapy.
After having Proton Therapy I didn’t come across any side-effects and my PSA level now indicates that I’m on the road to recovery, side-effect free. My treatment took five fractions and I have to say, the Proton Therapy Center exceeded my expectations and my health is now stable.