Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Re: IMRT vs Proton Beam - Pros vs Cons?

You ask: “IMRT/External Beam radiation OR Proton Beam Radiation. He thinks the long term results may be the same, but I'm not for sure about this??? Any thoughts?”

Both of these treatments are radiation: both have the same potential risks and potential long term results.

The essential difference is the phenomenon referred to as the ‘Bragg Peak’ which enables the proton beam to be focussed very accurately and because of this, if the procedure is done by an expert, the chances of damage to other cells is reduced significantly.

Men who have had proton beam treatment are by and large very enthusiastic about the treatment and as such there is some concern that this may mask some of the side effects which may not be reported. There are very few independent reports about proton beam – the main studies coming from Loma Linda which has been doing this procedure for many years as you know. Their studies show very low levels of morbidity or side effects, but then as cynics would say, you’d expect that wouldn’t you.

You also ask: “Are there any NEGATIVES we aren't considering with proton beam or NEGATIVES we aren't considering with external beam?”

It is not too clear what negatives you are considering, but as I say above there’s not a lot to choose between the two in potential outcome.

You then ask: “Also after proton can he be followed up by his regular Urologist and if he has latent side effects can they be treated locally or will he have to go back to FL for treatment?” As far as I am aware any treatment for morbidity associated with either treatment would be dealt with by the same specialist – probably not his urologist. There would certainly seem to be no reason to return to Florida, since it would not be possible to have nay further radiation.

I hope you have read the material on the Yana site, including Sonny Jones book.

For what it is worth – not too much I’d say – if I were choosing a conventional treatment I’d probably opt for Proton Beam by an experienced team.

Good luck and all the best to your Dad,

Terry in Australia