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Join us for a free presentation to learn more about the latest developments in prostate cancer. Dr. Wilkinson will discuss the most advanced diagnostic tools and current trends in treatment including multiparametric MRI, genomic classification, when to use active surveillance, and how to preserve quality of life after a prostate diagnosis.

Thursday, May 9th at 6:30pm or Friday, May 17th at 9:30am

Hosted by: Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville, 6450 Provision CARES Way, Knoxville, TN 37909

RSVP: To reserve your seat, please RSVP to Jenni Turner at 865.321.4539 or jenni.turner@provisionhp.com

The post Prostate Cancer 101: Understanding the Journey Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survival appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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Improvements in treatment technologies consistently push the medical community to assess the potential benefits, risks, and costs. As proton therapy becomes more accessible, studies will be used to evaluate the most broadly beneficial ways to use the limited resource.

A 2018 report, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, authored by Hubert Y. Pan et al., compared the toxicities and costs of treating prostate cancer with IMRT (x-ray) or proton therapy1. The authors evaluated a slightly different population than typically reviewed in prostate cancer studies. They focused on patients who were 65 years old or younger and had commercial insurance coverage. The study yielded some interesting results, but as with most clinical papers, it needs some points of reference and context to understand.

Proton therapy was associated with lower urinary toxicity (side effects) and better erectile function at 2 years versus IMRT (an advanced form of x-ray/photon therapy).  The authors report proton therapy was associated with a positive difference across multiple domains of urinary toxicity including incontinence, stricture, and bleeding.  This urinary benefit was seen in both the short term and the long term. This indicates there is an ongoing, lasting benefit for those treated with proton therapy.

The proton therapy patients in this study did have a 5% higher occurrence of bowel toxicity at two years which was limited mainly to rectal bleeding. There is some important context needed to understand this outcome. Rectal bleeding is a known possible complication of proton therapy, but it can be part of the healing process of the anterior rectal wall. It usually gets better on its own or resolves with medication.

To put this in perspective, in a well-respected study from the University of Florida, only 8 men out of more than 1,300 prostate patients, required referral to a GI specialist to treat the rectal wall2. This UF study also showed that proton patients had less rectal pain with bowel movement and a lower rate of bowel urgency than those treated with IMRT.

The clinical evidence showing the advantages of proton therapy continues to accumulate. It will be increasingly important to place the data presented in these studies within the context of our existing knowledge base. The biggest take away of this study may be that younger men treated with proton therapy had decreased urinary and erectile side effects compared with those treated with an advanced form of x-ray therapy. Quantifying the value of that difference to patients may not be as straight forward.

  1. Hubert Y. Pan, Jing Jiang, Karen E. Hoffman, et al (2018). Comparative Toxicities and Cost of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy, Proton Radiation, and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Among Younger Men with Prostate Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36:18, 1823-1830. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.75.5371
  2. Bryant, Curtis et al. (2016). Five-Year Biochemical Results, Toxicity, and Patient-Reported Quality of Life After Delivery of Dose-Escalated Image Guided Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer. International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Volume 95, Issue 1, 422 – 434. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.02.038

The post Recent Clinical Study Compares Proton Therapy and IMRT for Prostate Cancer Treatment in Younger Men appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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Free PSA Test and Blood Drive at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville September 13th and 14th!

Eddie Check is celebrating its 15th anniversary of offering men across East Tennessee a free PSA test and raising awareness for prostate cancer. On September 13th and 14th, you are invited to get a free screening test for prostate cancer as well participate in a blood drive.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among men, usually growing slowly and remaining in the prostate gland. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, most common in men 65 and older. Those with a family history of prostate cancer, along with obesity, are a common risk factor.  If prostate cancer is caught early, the 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%. Prostate cancer is rare before age 40, so if you are 40 or older, the first step is a free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, which is a simple blood test measuring naturally produced PSA by the prostate gland.

If a higher than normal level of PSA is found, it may indicate various prostate issues, including cancer. No certain PSA level is called normal or abnormal, and an elevated level does not mean you have prostate cancer – only a biopsy can diagnose cancer. Always discuss PSA test results with your doctor and be sure to have a digital rectal exam (DRE), as about 6% of men with prostate cancer continue to have normal PSA. Early detection is important and the numbers say it all: Get tested!

In 2004, Rockford-based company Nisus Corporation, a manufacturer of green products for the pest control and wood preservation industries, teamed up with area hospitals and MEDIC Regional Blood Center to create the annual event. In fact, Eddie Check is named in honor of Eddie Kirkland, father of Nisus President & CEO Kevin L. Kirkland. Visit EddieCheck.com to learn more.

Provision CARES Proton Therapy is a proud sponsor of Eddie Check, and free PSA tests and a blood drive will kick-off on our Knoxville campus on September 13th from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and on September 14th from 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM.

15th Annual Eddie Check Sites and Locations

Thursday, September 13

Friday, September 14

Download PDF of Eddie Check locations

The post 15th Annual Eddie Check Event appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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Early detection of cancer can be the next best thing to prevention. There are several widely known risk factors for prostate cancer that may increase the probability of a man to develop prostate cancer. Age, race and family history are the most common today. According to ASCO Cancer.Net, “Prostate cancer that runs in a family, called familial prostate cancer, occurs about 20% of the time.” Sources say that shared genes, similar lifestyles and environments play a role in developing familial prostate cancer. Hereditary prostate cancer accounts for almost 5% of cases. This type of gene mutation is passed down within family generations. A few characteristics for hereditary prostate cancer could include:

  • Prostate cancer diagnosed in three generations on the same side of the family
  • Three or more relatives with prostate cancer
  • Two or more close relatives diagnosed before age 55

Visit with a physician to find out if your family health history is in the gene pool for familial or hereditary prostate cancer.  If so, what is the best next step?  If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, how do you know the best treatment options?

Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville has seen this connection on several rare occasions. The Ward brothers are all too familiar with prostate cancer diagnosis. Their father and uncle had prostate cancer causing the brothers risk factors for prostate cancer to increase. David, 55, was the first brother to be diagnosis with prostate cancer 2 years ago. His family encouraged him to research proton therapy treatment options. David began his research online, where he found Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville. He was treated with proton therapy for prostate cancer in 2016 and is doing well. “I can run circles around these guys,” he said.

When Steve Ward, 56, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he knew he wanted proton therapy. Prostate cancer was his third cancer diagnosis after a prolactin gland tumor and a tumor in his left eye, both were treated with conventional radiation. Based on his own experience with conventional radiation and the experience of his uncle and brother, he knew he wanted to be treated with protons.

Benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer:

  • 71% of patients reported significantly better overall quality of life after treatment
  • 80% reported being able to remain active during treatment with proton therapy

Steve was able to work full time during his treatments and the Provision team worked with his schedule so that he could drive back and forth from Greenville, South Carolina for treatment every day.

Advice from the Patient: 

From David:

“Knowledge is the key. Proton therapy was the last treatment option I researched. I was originally scheduled for surgery. I am so thankful I continued my research and found Provision CARES Proton Therapy. It is important to look at quality of life and reduced risk. Proton therapy, to me, was a no brainer. You can see the positivity from the patients in the lobby. Be knowledgeable and educated on all of your treatment options.”

From Steve:

“Explore all your options and educate yourself. My wife did all the research online and did not leave any stone unturned. Getting to the point of starting treatment was a battlefield for me and my family. However, the benefits and technology behind proton therapy is well worth the battle. Continue the fight until you get where you deserve to be.”

If you or a loved one is considering proton therapy for a cancer diagnosis and looking for more information, please call our Care Coordinator team at 865-978-6623 or click HERE to submit an online inquiry.

The post Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer can increase due to Age, Race and Family History appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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Dale Clayton first heard about Provision CARES Proton Therapy through a TV commercial. Not knowing he had cancer, he tucked the words “proton therapy” in the back of his mind, hoping that he would never have to remember them. It was February 2015 when Mr. Clayton learned he had prostate cancer. Dale had always been proactive when it came to his health. He said, “my mom always taught me to be proactive.” He went in for regular checkups, yearly physicals, and was well aware of his PSA and gleason score. At his appointment in 2015, all test scores came back normal, but he insisted on a biopsy, just to be sure. Both the doctor and Clayton were shocked, his biopsy came back positive. Dale was diagnosed with low risk, non-aggressive prostate cancer and decided on active surveillance.

Two and a half years later, things started to change. His PSA remained normal but his biopsy showed the cancer had doubled in size. “It’s a miracle we found it,” said Clayton, “I believe God placed the right doctors, urologists, and friends around me to help me make an informed treatment decision.” He researched prostate cancer and treatment options, from surgery to brachytherapy to protons, and there were two things that were very significant to his treatment decision process:

  1. Cure Rate
  2. Quality of Life

With a current career in the public eye, Dale claimed, “proton was the obvious decision.” He had heard the horror stories of side-effects with other treatment options and with his career and current lifestyle, he didn’t want to recover for weeks at a time. He was determined to continue to travel and “coach” both athletes and coaches.

In May of 2010, Mr. Clayton retired as head basketball coach at Carson-Newman college. A few years later, he moved on to serve as the Vice President of Coaches Ministry with Nations of Coaches, an organization to “provide values-based leadership coaching to college basketball teams and coaches”, where he spends the majority of his time. His goal in this “ministry” is to teach coaches how to motivate and inspire the heart of players and to help coaches understand the influence they have on their athletes. Clayton said, “It’s more than just winning or achieving fame.”

“Provision has been a place not just for treatment, but a place to encourage others who are having treatment. I’ve been given the opportunity to be an encourager to others.” With a laugh he said, “it has, also, been a learning and humbling experience.”

There was no question faith was a major part of Dale’s decision to choose treatment at Provision CARES Proton Therapy, including details such as the lodging accommodations. While Mr. Clayton had worked with Provision’s hospitality staff, other plans were being laid out for him instead. Through a friend in the Knoxville area, he made arrangements to stay at a local church missionary house. Even with his normal travel schedules, it was still hard to be away from his wife and grandkids. He found comfort in the warm and welcoming culture Provision offers. Dale is eager to become an active Provision Proton Ambassador. He currently lives in the Nashville area and hopes to educate others on proton therapy by sharing his experience.

Dale has wise words of advice for other cancer patients: “As you consider all your treatment options, proton therapy should be included. Schedule a consult and sit down, listen, learn, and watch before making a final decision. You cannot undo a treatment decision.”

The post Proton Stories: Dale C. appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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Proton therapy got positive billing at the recent Particle Therapy Cooperative Group, as researchers from across the country presented findings that showed proton therapy reduced potentially life-altering side effects and improved survival rates for cancer patients.

The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) released a summary of the results, which included the findings of studies focused on esophageal, prostate and breast cancer.

Proton therapy reduces radiation’s secondary effects in esophageal cancer

Three institutions—M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Maryland—partnered to conduct the study on esophageal cancer patients. The research focused on older esophageal cancer patients treated with three types of radiation: 3-D conformal, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (or IMRT) and proton therapy.

The results showed “fewer postoperative heart and lung complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and heart attacks, shorter hospital stays and reduced risk of postoperative death” in patients treated with proton therapy versus the conventional radiation, according to the NAPT report.

“Cancer of the esophagus is a difficult diagnosis that ideally is treated with radiation and chemotherapy followed by surgery,” said Dr. Ben Wilkinson, radiation oncologist and medical director for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center. “This study emphasizes that reducing unneeded radiation dose to the lungs and heart by using proton therapy leads to fewer side effects including less lung inflammation and fewer heart attacks.  This is critical information for any physician treating esophageal cancer and for any family who is going through a diagnosis of esophageal cancer.”

Prostate cancer patients see longer life with protons

A pair of presentations at the PTCOG conference emphasized the benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer patients.

The first study was conducted by Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center and the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute, utilizing results from the major Surveillance, Epidemiology & End Results Registry of the National Cancer Institute. The results showed patients treated with proton therapy had a significantly higher five-year survival rate than patients treated with IMRT. They also experienced fewer side effects including bladder complications and secondary, radiation-induced cancer.

“The data presented by Northwestern University shows that reducing radiation dose matters.  With IMRT, there is unneeded radiation that is given to the bladder and bowel that, in this study, leads to an increase in side effects and treatment-related cancers,” Wilkinson said.

The second presentation came from the work of the doctors at the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute and Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Their work showed that while patients treated with IMRT versus protons experienced similar rates of complication, their ability to control the disease with proton therapy in patients with low- and intermediate-risk cancers was significantly higher than with conventional radiation.

“For the first time, we see an increase in survival for patients treated with proton therapy,” Wilkinson said. “These data need to be confirmed but are an exciting step forward for patients who are seeking the best treatment with the fewest side effects.”

Short-course proton therapy effective for breast cancer

Working with several institutions the Proton Collaborative Group conducted a study of patients with early-stage breast cancer who received partial breast short-course, or hypofractionated, proton therapy treatments in which a tumor site is treated with a smaller number of high-intensity treatments instead of a traditional longer and more frequent treatment protocol.

The research showed proton therapy treatment worked as effectively with these patients as the longer regimen. Additionally, patients did not experience significant side effects or cosmetic issues with the hypofractionated course. All patients continue to be in remission.

“It’s remarkable that the reported studies agree pretty well with each other,” said Niek Schreuder, Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center vice president and chief medical physicist. “The SEER data is totally independent from the University of Florida studies, but they agree well with each other.  The study refutes any of the previous SEER based studies that was very biased in many regards.  The interesting thing is that what are reported here is just a small snapshot of the real data that will be published soon.

“It’s powerful and should serve us well in the quest for getting proton treatments approved by private insurance,” Schreuder added.

The post National particle therapy conference boosts proton therapy’s profile appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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This year Eddie Check is doing the same thing it’s been doing for the past 14 years: providing prostate cancer screenings and blood donations to the people of East Tennessee.

This year’s event kicks off Thursday, Sept. 14, and will be hosted at 12 sites throughout the Knoxville region on Thursday and Friday. The event offers free PSA screenings to men over 40 years old—blood donations encouraged but not required.

In 2004, Rockford-based Nisus Corporation, a manufacturer of green products for the pest control and wood preservation industries, teamed up with area hospitals and MEDIC Regional Blood Center to create Eddie Check, an annual event that adds free PSA screening for prostate cancer to blood drives. It was a simple strategy using MEDIC’s already existing resources to make it fast and easy for men to get a blood sample drawn for the screening. Nisus has a personal stake in the fight; marketing vice president Jim Gorman is a prostate cancer survivor, while company president Kevin L. Kirkland lost his father, Eddie Kirkland, to the disease. In fact, “Eddie Check” is named for Eddie Kirkland.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer. In 2015, there will be an estimated 220,800 new cases diagnosed in the U.S., and approximately 14 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate in their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Eddie Check allows men, many of whom are hesitant to set up an annual physical exam, to get the PSA test for free while also performing a community service.

“Men don’t really like to go to the doctor, let’s just face it, they don’t,” Kirkland says. “With Eddie Check they can just stop by and get a free PSA test.”

Eddie Check’s history

Kevin Kirkland, president and CEO of Nisus Corp., was still a teenager when his father, Eddie, received news of of his late-stage prostate cancer. He died four years later, leaving a lasting impression on his young son. The loss compounded grief over his mother’s death from breast cancer just a year before.

Neither disease had yet attained the public attention and awareness they garner now.

“Back in 1972, people didn’t discuss prostate cancer. PSA tests didn’t exist,” Kirkland says. “I always knew I wanted to do something that would increase the awareness of prostate cancer in the same way as breast cancer has gained public attention.”

It took 30 years, and Eddie Check was born.The first event in 2004 featured one Medic bus. The event ran a total of 50 PSA tests and collected 50 units of blood. Originally called Eddie Kirkland Memorial Blood Drive and Free PSA Testing Event, Radio talk show host Phil Williams coined the name Eddie Check. It stuck.

These days, the initiative involves live radio shows on location with partners including News Talk 98.7, WIVK and WNML. The program typically collects more than 1,000 units of blood and runs more than 1,000 PSA tests.

In addition to serving as a host site, the Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center serves as a sponsor for the event. And the Provision CARES foundation pays for all Eddie Check’s PSA tests.

Eddie Check helps Provision patient identify his prostate cancer

Eddie Check showed Kevin Wathen of Maryville what he regular doctor had failed to: an elevated PSA level. After a biopsy, he learned that he had developed prostate cancer.

“There were no symptoms to tell me there was a problem,” Wathen says. “If I hadn’t had the test done I wouldn’t have given it any thought.”

Wathen became an early patient at Provision. There, his prostate cancer was treated with protons, a type of radiation that pinpoints a tumor and spares much of the healthy tissue around it. This reduces side effects such as incontinence and impotency as well as discomfort during the time of treatment. Wathen was one of the fi rst to receive hypofractionated proton therapy treatments at the center, a shortened, more intense course that allows therapy duration to be cut in half.

“It still doesn’t feel like I ever had cancer,” he says.

Wathen says he would recommend men of all ages taking advantage of the free annual PSA test, at least to establish a baseline for further testing.

“Especially with Eddie Check being available at no charge,” Wathen says. “I’d do it every year.”

Who should be tested?

Men should consult with their healthcare provider about being screened for prostate cancer as early detection can improve long-term outcomes. Men considered to be at higher risk include men 50-years-old or more, African American men, men 45-years-old or older with a first-degree relative (father, brother or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 and men 40-years-old or older with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65

Screening options include: 1) a digital rectal exam, conducted by the physician to determine the size of the prostate and feel for tumors; 2) a test measuring levels of prostate specific antigen, or PSA, in the blood. And elevated PSA test can indicate the presence of cancer but also noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and 3) a biopsy, depending on the outcome of other tests.

The post Local program combines PSA testing with blood donation appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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That included treatment for prostate cancer.

Raffleld started out with a B.S. in physics and a career in the Air Force where he planned and evaluated instructional systems for the military’s intercontinental ballistic missiles program during the Vietnam War. He became a captain, serving as combat crew commander and wing instructor and discovered he enjoyed “arranging resources to accomplish the mission,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t know what that was called, but in business, that’s operations.”

After his military career ended, Raffield didn’t settle into the field he had chosen but embarked in a new direction, starting out as a territory sales manager for Michelin Tire and ending up management and operations for Truckstops of America and Universal Tire.

“I tended to say, ‘I’m going to do what fits me,” he said.

While in the military he had earned a master’s degree in public administration and later he received a doctorate in industrial management with an eye toward another goal: teaching.

Since 1991, he has been at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where he has served as business professor, Director of the school’s Division of Business and Senior Associate Dean of the business college. Six years ago he chose to leave his administrative positions to return to teaching as an associate professor of operations and supply chain management.

“I tend to rebel at being painted into a corner,” Raffield said.

Seeking an alternative cancer treatment

That mindset help Raffield look closely at all his options when diagnosed with prostate cancer after his PSA levels began an upward climb last year. His brother-in-law, who lives in Knoxville, had had proton therapy for prostate cancer three years prior, so Raffield knew something about the treatment. He also knew that with an active career and family life, including grandchildren who live nearby, he didn’t want to struggle with the side effects that came with other treatment options such as surgery and brachytherapy.

Traditional treatments such as surgery, conventional radiation therapy and brachytherapy come with a number of undesirable side effects. These include incontinence and impotence due to damage of healthy surrounding tissues and organs that enable these important functions.

Proton therapy represents an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses a beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, in which x-ray beams deposit most of their energy into the healthy tissue prior to entry and upon exit of the tumor site, the protons can be better controlled, allowing most of the energy to be deposited directly into the tumor. This reduces damage to nearby healthy tissue.

“My brother-in-law was amazed at how little impact there was in terms of side effects and everything else. Several friends elected to do brachytherapy and experienced significant side effects from the treatment. With surgery, a lifetime of incontinence and impotence was no deal,” he said. “But first and foremost was the cure rate for proton therapy—as good or better than anything else out there. Putting it all together, it was pretty clear proton was the way to go.”

Although Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., had recently opened, Raffield opted for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center. The Knoxville center had been open longer. Nearby family afforded a shorter daily commute (Rochester is a 100 mile trip from Raffield’s home in Forest Lake, Minn.) A Provision offered a one-time hydrogel injection as an alternative to a balloon, inserted daily into the rectum of prostate patients prior to treatment for protection from radiation exposure.

“The hydrogel was icing on the cake,” he said.

While the time away from his wife and grandchildren in Minnesota was difficult, Raffield said he appreciated Provision’s support system of employees and the patients he met along the way.

“It’s a happy place,” he said. “I came down here two weeks after my diagnosis, and I was just blown away by the culture and atmosphere of Provision. That sealed the deal. I just felt at home there.”

The post Whether a career change or cancer treatment, Bill Raffield is the kind of man who goes for what he wants. appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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When it comes to prostate cancer treatment, there’s bad news and there’s good news.

The bad news: Prostate cancer ranks the third most common cancer in the U.S. Healthcare providers diagnose more than 200,000 new cases each year. Approximately 14 percent of men will succumb to prostate cancer in their lifetimes. The good news: Most diagnosed with prostate cancer survive. The disease represents 13.3 percent of all new cancer cases. But only 4.7 percent of those diagnosed will die of the disease. Research shows five-year relative survival rates for prostate cancer at 99.7 percent. (National Cancer Institute)

And, proton therapy offers a treatment option for prostate cancer with many fewer short-term and long-term side effects.

The basics

Prostate cancer typically spreads slowly and in many cases does not cause health problems. However, those at higher risk for the disease should consult with their healthcare provider about being screened for prostate cancer. Early detection vastly improves long-term outcomes. Those at higher risk include:

  • Men 50-years-old or more
  • African American men
  • Men 45-years-old or older with a first-degree relative (father, brother or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65
  • Men 40-years-old or older with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65

Screening options include:

  • A digital rectal exam, conducted by the physician to determine the size of the prostate and feel for tumors
  • A test measuring levels of prostate specific antigen, or PSA, in the blood. And elevated PSA test can indicate the presence of cancer but also noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis.
  • A biopsy may be recommended, if PSA levels are high or have risen over time, to look for tumors in the prostate

Those with PSA levels of less than 2.5 ng/mL should be re-tested every two years. Those above 2.5 ng/mL should be tested every year.

Proton therapy and prostate cancer

For men diagnosed with prostate cancer, the cure can be worse than the disease.

Traditional treatments such as surgery, conventional radiation therapy and brachytherapy come with a number of undesirable side effects. These include incontinence and impotence due to damage of healthy surrounding tissues and organs that enable these important functions.

Proton therapy represents an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses a beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, in which x-ray beams deposit most of their energy into the healthy tissue prior to entry and upon exit of the tumor site, the protons can be better controlled, allowing most of the energy to be deposited directly into the tumor. This reduces damage to nearby healthy tissue.

Prostate patients who chose proton therapy saw a 5 percent recurrence rate. That compares to a 20 percent recurrence rate for conventional radiation therapy. And proton therapy patients experienced a 12 percent chance of complications and acute side effects. This compares to a 60 percent chance of complications and acute side effects for those treated with photons.

Men treated with proton therapy have a very low risk of long-term side effects. These can include incontinence and bowel damage.

Additional protection

Provision has taken further steps to reduce side effects and enhance patient comfort. It was the first proton therapy center in the nation to adopt use of SpaceOAR hydrogel, an injectable spacer that protects the rectum during radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Placed through a small needle, the hydrogel is administered as a liquid that quickly solidifies into a soft gel. The gel expands the space between the prostate and rectum. This temporarily positions the anterior rectal wall away from the prostate during treatment. The hydrogel spacer maintains this space until proton therapy is complete. The spacer then liquefies and is absorbed and cleared from the body in the patient’s urine.

“By its nature, proton therapy’s targeted radiation dosage protects surrounding tissues from damage,” says Ben Wilkinson. Wilkinson serves as radiation oncologist and medical director for Provision Center for Proton Therapy. “The SpaceOAR product provides us with even more ability to keep our patients comfortable and further prevent long-term side effects as a result of their treatment.”

Don’t take our word for it

In a recent national survey men reported the dramatic difference between proton therapy and other cancer treatments. Those who received proton therapy said they experienced significantly better quality of life during and after treatment than those treated with surgery or traditional x-ray therapy. The survey carried out by Bryant Research profiled 755 men, ages 50-75. They were surveyed at least 12 months after treatment.

Patients who received proton therapy reported less interference with sexual function.They also described feeling better during treatment. And they experienced fewer problems with urinary function, bowel function, digestive function and the ability to stay active.

Other notable results included:

  • The proportion of proton therapy patients reporting that their treatment had no impact on their sexual function was almost double that of the next best scoring treatment in this survey.
  • Ninety-seven (97%) percent of proton therapy patients said they would recommend their treatment to other men with prostate cancer, significantly higher than the other treatment options.
  • Ninety-seven (97%) percent of proton therapy patients said they would select this same treatment option should they have to make the decision today compared to brachytherapy (68%), conventional radiation therapy (66%), and surgery (58%) patients.

The post Prostate cancer treatment: what you need to know appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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In its third year, the Bill Williamson Memorial Golf Tournament raised $50,000 for patients and their families battling with cancer.

Avalon Golf & Country Club hosted the Father’s Day weekend event. The tournament memorializes a Knoxville man who died of prostate cancer in Father’s Day, 2013, and loved to play golf. The family partnered with Provision CARES to hold the event.

Held Friday, June 16, proceeds benefited Provision CARES Foundation, which serves more than 1,600 families battling cancer per year in East Tennessee.

Approximately 220 golfers played in tournament’s morning and afternoon rounds. The fundraiser was the largest golf tournament in Avalon’s history.

Playing with a champ

First, second and third place finishers won prizes in two morning and two afternoon flights. Last place teams received free rounds of golf at Avalon with golf lessons.

Chloe Garner, assistant golf coach at East Tennessee State University and the current women’s long drive champion, participated on hole #18. Golfers could pay to use Chloe’s drive from the red tee. They also competed to outdrive her.

“Let’s just say that all of the golfers ate some ‘humble pie,'” said Les Fout, Provision CARES director. “Her longest recorded drive in a competition is 370 yards, and she hit several shots that seemed to get close to that. She’s only 5-foot-6 but very strong.”

The tournament was presented by Peoples Home Equity. Other major sponsors included NewsTalk, the SportsAnimal, WVLT, Tennessee Cancer Specialists, Provision Proton Therapy Center, Merit Construction, Shoffner, BESCO, Trinity Benefit Advisors and Knoxville ENT & Allergy.

Golfing for a cause

“We are blessed to be able to partner with the Williamson family to honor Bill’s legacy. Our sole purpose is to support families throughout East Tennessee who have loved ones dealing with cancer,” said Fout. “Funds from this event are also used to provide early detection services for men and women who need either prostate or breast screenings.”

Provision CARES Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Its initiatives embrace the following:

• Education and Wellness: Educational forums and innovative wellness programs that promote healing, healthy lifestyles, disease prevention and awareness

• Research: Research that continues the advancement of clinical care and innovative healthcare solutions

• Patient Assistance: Assistance for patients and family members to help alleviate the financial burden of medical expenses for those in need

To learn how you can help this great organization, go to www.provisioncares.org.

The post Provision CARES fundraiser nets 50K appeared first on Provision Healthcare.

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