All posts by Susanna Conchin

Robert’s Prostate Cancer Story

After investigations for low testosterone, I was shocked to learn that I had prostate cancer, my family were incredibly worried about me and I quickly became anxious and stressed.

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.

I turned down NHS treatment as I became worried about the side-effects of standard radiotherapy which is why proton therapy appealed to me. With the lack of side-effects I knew it would be a better treatment for me. It lasted 5 fractions and exceeded my expectations, from start to finish the treatment was very professional and the team of people treating me were excellent.

Proton therapy did cause some short-term side-effects such as tiredness and a urinary tract infection, however my health now is very good and my PSA 12 weeks after treatment went from 6.1 to 0.94. I would recommend proton therapy for any male deciding on treatment for prostate cancer.

I now look at my future and it looks very positive.

Disclaimer: This patient is happy to share their story but would like to protect their identity.

Thomas’ Prostate Cancer Story

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.

The NHS offered me hormone therapy then subsequently radiotherapy; the hormone therapy began rather quickly but I was put off the radiotherapy due to its side effects so I started researching other treatments.

I came across proton therapy online and it indicated that the side-effects would be greatly reduced so I decided to go ahead with it. My treatment lasted 21 fractions and I found the Proton Centre to be very professional, caring and I was attended to promptly each time I attended the clinic, which would have been different with the NHS.

During the treatment I did experience a slight looseness of the bowels at times, but overall I thought the treatment was excellent with a high standard of professionalism and care in place that made me feel at ease during the whole process.

My health at the minute is fine and I feel like I’m back to normal- when I look at my future it looks very positive.

Disclaimer: This patient is happy to share their story but would like to protect their identity.

Andrew’s Prostate Cancer Story

My diagnosis left me feeling stressed and anxious, I didn’t have any symptoms for prostate cancer other than a high PSA reading, at first I didn’t believe it, I was worried and unsure about my options and my future wellbeing. I agreed on ‘watchful waiting’ but as my PSA readings increased I became a lot more irritable.

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.

We decided proton therapy was the best option for me as I wanted quality of life, this didn’t seem possible following-on from surgery as it was the non-nerve sparing prostatectomy that was proposed.

The information given by the NHS was very limited, they discussed what they wanted me to have and not all the options; I also received very little information about post-treatment. Proton therapy appealed to me as it was non-invasive and had little side-effects.

My treatment lasted 21 fractions, being away from home was lonely and during my treatment I got kidney stones which created more unwanted stress. Before my treatment started I needed hormone therapy which caused a delay in being treated. Hormone therapy drove me a little mad, I was almost a woman going through menopause; I became bad tempered, emotional, crying for no reason and just generally unreasonable, no-one mentioned these side-effects. The proton beam therapy also had a couple of side-effects for me, it left me with painful legs from the hip down to the knee and I also have a form of IBS which came on 2months ago.

Although I had some side-effects I’d still recommend it as it’s non-invasive, in my opinion the body has lots of parts which work together, removal of one part disturbs the whole balance of the body. One day I think there will be holistic treatments instead of departments that deal with selected parts of the body.

When I think about my future now, I’m still a little uncertain about the side-effects but mostly positive.

Disclaimer: This patient is happy to share their story but would like to protect their identity.

Joe’s Prostate Cancer Story

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. Since having the therapy there’s nothing I can’t do now that I could before the surgery, I do have increased urination at night but I feel like this whole ‘episode’ was just a glitch in my life and I would highly recommend the Proton Therapy Center.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer after having a routine PSA test; my initial reaction was that this could happen to anybody. At the time I realised that I have a wonderful and fulfilling life so I remained optimistic that it would continue.

Although I had been told that I had cancer I actually felt OK as I believed there’s help, the NHS referred me to the urologist where blood tests, MRI scan, colonoscopy and a biopsy was undertaken to determine the extent of the cancer.

Once the initial tests and diagnoses were completed I was then offered active surveillance with a wide-range of treatments to follow on from this once the cancer progressed, the treatments offered to me on the NHS were:

  • Active Surveillance Surgery
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Permanent seed brachytherapy
  • External beam radiotherapy

The consultant personally recommended for me external beam radiotherapy which would last two months but I was hoping the active surveillance would be sufficient so at the time I didn’t seek alternative treatments from other sources.

When I started to look at the possible side-effects from the conventional treatments and the fact treatments may have to be repeated, I started looking at alternative treatments and came across Proton Therapy in a Prague daily newspaper.

It appealed to me immediately for many reasons such as:

  • Minimal side-effects
  • Easy access to the Proton Therapy Center
  • The state of the art equipment
  • Short treatment time
  • All of the professional and caring staff through-out the process