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Local Men Provide Patient-to-Patient Education, Spreading Word about Proton Therapy

Focused Outreach to African American Men, Who Suffer Disproportionately from Prostate Cancer

Somerset, NJ (BlackNews.com) — As Prostate Cancer Awareness Month comes to a close, ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ today announced that 150 prostate cancer patients have successfully completed proton therapy treatment, a precise radiation treatment for cancer without many of the short- and long-term side effects often experienced with standard X-ray radiation. Since Procure opened the New Jersey facility in March 2012, physicians have noted that a majority of prostate patients have learned about proton therapy through family, friends and independent research rather than via their primary physicians and urologists. Word-of-mouth referrals have been particularly important within the African American community, since men in this group have a higher incidence of prostate cancer, as well as double the mortality rate from the condition than men in other ethnic groups. (i)

Victor Lawson of Elizabeth, NJ, first discovered proton therapy as a potential prostate cancer treatment option while watching cable sports program ESPN 360. During an interview featuring NCAA basketball coach Tyler Jones, Victor happened to hear the coach speak about his successful experience with proton therapy in treating his prostate cancer. Uncomfortable with other treatment options that had been recommended until then, Victor began to research the therapy and facilities that offer the treatment. He was pleased to discover ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ.

Another patient, Monte W. of Queens, NY, learned about proton therapy through his brother-in-law, who had been previously treated with proton therapy in Boston. Monte’s urologist had recommended standard radiation therapy, but his own independent research as well as his brother-in-law’s strong recommendations led him to opt for proton therapy treatment at ProCure.

“What appealed to Victor and Monte, as well as other prostate patients, was that proton therapy would enable them to avoid invasive surgery as well as help minimize risk to surrounding healthy tissue, compared to standard radiation therapy,” explained Dr. Brian Chon, a radiation oncologist and physician at ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ. “For many patients, quality of life issues are extremely important when researching treatment options for prostate cancer. Proton therapy is an attractive option since it results in very few serious side effects and reduces the risk of secondary, radiation-induced cancers.”

Early screening and treatment is especially critical for African American men, a message ProCure hopes will be top of mind all year round, not just during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. According to recent studies among men who had their prostates surgically removed soon after they were diagnosed with very low-risk prostate cancer, roughly 27 percent of black men (vs. 14 percent of white men) actually had more severe cancers than physicians had originally thought. Additional research also indicated that black men tend to have larger tumors located in areas of the prostate that aren’t easily accessible for biopsy. (ii)

“My own experience taught me how important it is for individuals at risk of prostate cancer to be educated about their treatment options and to be motivated to make informed decisions,” said patient Victor Lawson. “Had I not heard the ESPN interview and learned about proton therapy, I might have missed out on a successful treatment option.”

To help others who may be searching for a better understanding of what treatment options are available, Victor along with other prostate cancer patients treated at ProCure, actively reach out to patients to share their personal experiences. Their stories have appeared in publications and aired on broadcast programs including WCTC-AM, The Prostate Net and MOSAIC Magazine.


About Proton Therapy
Proton therapy is a precise radiation treatment for cancer without many of the short and long-term side effects often experienced with standard X-ray radiation.  The precision allows only the tumor to be irradiated, minimizing harmful effects to surrounding healthy tissue and reducing risk of secondary cancers.  Studies show proton therapy to be effective in treating many types of tumors, including brain, central nervous system, head and neck, gastrointestinal, lung and prostate, as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers.

ProCure’s New Jersey facility opened in March 2012 and has since treated over 300 patients. For more information, please visit www.procure.com/nj or call 1-877-967-7628.

About ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc.
ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. is a privately held health care company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with cancer by increasing access to proton therapy. The company was founded in 2005 in Bloomington, Ind., and is the first to develop a network of proton therapy centers in cities across the United States. The ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City opened in July 2009, ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., opened in March 2012 and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center, opened in Seattle, WA in March 2013. For more information, visit www.procure.com.


(i) National Cancer Institute

(ii) Journal of Clinical Oncology, online June 17, 2013 and The Journal of Urology, online June 14, 2013.



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