SOMERSET, N.J., Sept. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As we mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September, one Pennsylvania man's story illustrates why patients are choosing proton therapy as an alternative to standard radiation treatment.
David Hoch, a 61-year-old IT professional from SE Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early 2020. Tests indicated that the cancer was starting to metastasize to other areas of his body.
While his oncologists recommended traditional radiation therapy, Hoch began researching proton therapy because it protected surrounding healthy tissue, which he said was critical for long-term quality of life.
His wife, Carmen, heard about proton therapy in an online Facebook group. That is also where the Hochs discovered ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ, a treatment facility just a few hours from their home in Pa.
For David Hoch, a musician and mountain biker, it was important to stay active - even during cancer treatments. Proton therapy at ProCure helped him meet that goal, and he said he believes he is now on a path for a long and healthy life.
Physicians at ProCure use precisely targeted pencil beam radiation treatments as an alternative to standard radiation. Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS) is a revolutionary technology that boosts accuracy with its ultra-narrow proton radiation beam.
Pencil Beam Scanning effectively "paints" the tumor with radiation in three dimensions by moving a proton beam of pencil-point sharpness back and forth across each layer of the tumor. This extreme precision allows the radiation dose to conform to the specific shape and size of the tumor, making it ideal for irregularly shaped tumors located near critical organs and tissues. By delivering radiation directly into the tumor and sparing nearby healthy tissue, proton therapy minimizes side effects.
"The staff at ProCure was very professional, knowledgeable, and caring during my sessions, delivering both radiation treatments and nutritional counseling," Hoch said. "Scans after treatments have shown that the metastasized sites are no longer visible. I now feel that I am on a healthier recovery path thanks to ProCure."
Approved by the FDA in the late 1980s, proton therapy has been an under-utilized treatment during much of its history. But since 2015, the number of proton therapy centers in the U.S. has increased to nearly 40, with ProCure being the 10th Center to open in 2012.
"An increasing number of clinical studies have continued to confirm proton therapy as a safe and effective treatment for many types of cancer," said Brian H. Chon, M.D., medical director at ProCure Proton Therapy Center. "In fact, the amount of research being conducted on proton therapy is rapidly increasing as more centers open around the U.S. and more patient experiences become available."
About ProCure: ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ, opened in March 2012 as the tri-state region's first proton therapy facility, treating a range of cancers including disease of the prostate, breast, lung, brain, head and neck, and gastrointestinal system, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cases. Using the most advanced radiation treatment available ProCure has treated more than 5,000 patients and enables many cancer patients to choose a non-surgical treatment personalized to their medical needs and lifestyles, often with fewer side effects and less downtime—giving them more freedom to enjoy what matters most in their lives. For more information, visit ProCure.com.
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SOURCE ProCure Proton Therapy Center