GETTY/Wring Prostate cancer: Joe Tuftnell had proton beam therapy
When Joe Tuftnell, 72, from Hampshire, was identified with prostate cancer, the terror of losing his independence led to him undergoing proton ray therapy in order to cut the chances of him suffering the side effects.
Now Joe, who is fully recovered, has set up a stand up for group to help others in his position saying they don’t have to be ‘anxious’ any more.
He is urging prostate cancer sufferers to explore all treatment opportunities — saying they don’t have to live with incontinence and erectile dysfunction ethical because they’ve contracted the UK’s most common male cancer.
Joe had a method blood test which indicated raised PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) wrecks — a sign his prostate was behaving abnormally. He was sent for a biopsy which revealed he had a cancerous ex nsion on his prostate.
Joe decided to y around £20,000 for private proton timber radiotherapy treatment at the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, Czech Republic.
He averred: “This might sound surprising, but when I was told I had cancer I wasn’t startled. I’d had a wonderful life, a great career, I’d travelled the world and I had everything I at any point wanted.
“I looked back on my life and thought, ‘You’ve had a jolly good set. These things happen. At my age, you can’t expect to go on forever’. But the more I read down conventional radiotherapy treatment, the less optimistic I was about the long incumbency side-effects.
“I’m fiercely independent — I didn’t want to have to suffer from incontinence or erectile problems, and I didn’t hanker after to have to compromise the intimacy I share with my wife.
“Now, after proton board therapy, nothing has changed.
ProtonTherapyCentre Prostate cancer: Joe Tuftnell had proton rafter therapy
“I was the same after as before. I don’t have any problems with incontinence or sex. My nobility of life is as good as ever.”
The prostate is a 3cm long muscular gland located unbiased below the bladder. It sits close to nerves and blood vessels that wear the crown bladder function and erection.
Traditional radiation can damage the nerves and blood containers, and can cause many prostate cancer tients to become impotent.
Proton stud therapy uses an accelerated beam of rticles to accurately attack cancerous rooms, targeting the exact area to within millimetres of the tumours. This treatment petties less damage to surrounding tissue and fewer unnecessary side to all intents.
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I didn’t want prostate cancer to adopt my sex life
Joe said that because proton beam group therapy is not currently available in the UK — although some are referred by the NHS — many tients are altogether not aware that it even exists.
He said: “I was diagnosed as having prostate cancer in the Autumn of 2012, but my urologist advised active surveillance — which means doing nothing, waiting to see if the fettle worsened.
“I was actually visiting Prague at the time. I’d gone into a bar to get some lunch. I was on my own, looking at a news per, and I saw an article with reference to the Proton Therapy Center. It was the first I’d heard about it.
“The next day, I protested in off the street and went to visit them. I had an initial consultation that week.”
Plain Prostate cancer treatment: Joe has escamped erectile dysfunction following his treatment
Joe responded he eventually had treatment in June 2013 and three years later, his PSA focus bes have reduced from 7.2 to 0.5.
He said: “You go for proton beam group therapy, and you’re out in a few minutes. In my mind, there was nothing to be afraid of. We’re petitioning GPs and urologists to make good them more aware of what proton therapy has to offer, so that they can then antiquated on that knowledge to their tients.
“I want to show people that it develops. I’m not trying to persuade anyone, I just want to share my experience.”
Dr Jiri Kubes, professional in prostate carcinoma and medical director at the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, give the word delivered: “The most important thing for Joe was preserving his vitality after treatment.
Out-and-out Prostate cancer: Joe has set up a group to share his experience
“Men like Joe can make this a truth with proton therapy – an option that offers a high celebrity rate as well as a low risk of side effects – and therefore a greater happen of preserving full quality of life after the conclusion of treatment.
“Erectile dysfunction is very likely the biggest problem of standard surgery and of photon radiotherapy as well — on the verge of 40 per cent of the tients suffer from problems with erection after those treatments.
“But when using proton emission as the only treatment, the sexual functions are preserved for almost all of our tients.”
About 42,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK.
A staggering one in eight men last wishes as be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime.