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"Ben, I have a question about Proton Beam Therapy"
If you are wondering about Proton Beam Therapy please send me a question detailing your personal circumstances and I will advise you of your options based upon my years of experience and extensive knowledge promoting good prostate health.
Proton beam therapy is the very latest technology. Proton beam equipment is as large as a small house and also costs a large fortune to purchase. Consequently the treatment is equally expensive. Only 6000 men a year are being treated currently with proton beam in the United States.
Does the fact that it is more expensive all the newest technology mean that it produces better results? I do have some information, but there is insufficient data to authoritatively answer that question.
What I do know so far is that patients having proton beam treatment seem to complain of fewer sexual side effects, compared to patients who have undergone other treatments. But that is the immediate result, and the longer-term result is far less certain. It remains the case that most proton therapy patients, like those who choose other treatment options, will exhibit some degree of sexual dysfunction, especially in terms of eventually being incapable of ejaculation.
Proton Beam Therapy
While it's true that using a proton beam enables doctors to destroy a prostate tumor with pinpoint accuracy, a substantial number of proton beam patients (though perhaps less than half) will also eventually lose their prostate's capacity to produce semen.
A couple of years ago a Johns Hopkins report indicated that while proton therapy might cause less sexual dysfunction, it can lead to the loss of bone density in the hip area and hip fractures; so it may be a bit of a trade-off for some men, who may end up with better sexual function, but could be worse off in terms of their bone health.
We also know that proton therapy has a greater chance of destroying nerve bundles that allow for erection which are situated on either side of the prostate. That will happen until further technological developments may help to reduce this risk.
We have to bear in mind the context that half of external beam patients will eventually get erectile dysfunction within 5 years of their treatment. How that will break down for proton therapy patients is not yet known, though going on my experience of other new therapies that have been introduced, it will not surprise me if half off proton therapy patients eventually ended up with erectile dysfunction as they get older.
As always with new technology many claims are made of it being less invasive and less harmful. The absence of proper studies provide the latitude to make such theoretical claims. In the past with other new technologies, the pattern has always been that once the long-term studies were available, it showed that the new technology was no better than the old, and in many cases even worse in its outcome.
So be wary of claims being made and as long as you are content to be a guinea pig, you can try this new treatment, but also be aware that there will almost certainly be significant side effects, particularly longer-term.
Thank you Ben Ong for helping me turn my life around. In just thirty days I have already realized better eating habits, weight loss, more energy & focus and a greater understanding of how God intends us all to live.... -Rev G Kenneth Steigler (Wake Forest North Carolina)
Dear Ben, Love your letters they have helped so much. Thank you over and over you have really helped me. (1) I don't get nervous about my prostate, I go to the Dr. and they try and scare me in thinking something is really wrong.(2) When I read your guide and follow what you say I feel great,(3) I don't get up at night maybe 1 time every three nights or so. You have really helped me in so many ways.(4) I can go out and not worry about running to the bathroom all the time.(5) I really think my prostate is shrinking. I even have more energy. Thank you. Terry Badger, (Aspen, Colorado)
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6/7 cases of prostate cancer will never become life-threatening and therefore do not need invasive treatments which
(despite all the claims by Doctors) have been shown by many studies not to increase life expectancy.
At the same time, these invasive procedures that often follow after a positive biopsy have the potential to cause significant damage to your quality-of-life.