Reviewed By: Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, AOCN
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: March 4, 2007
As with any cancer diagnosis, a man diagnosed with prostate cancer often feels overwhelmed and unable to do research on treatment options available to him. Many patients follow the first doctor's recommendation, without giving thought to what other alternatives there may be in his case. Bob Marckini was not that patient. When he received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, he set out to analyze and dissect every option available to him.
He quickly learned that the surgeons recommended surgery, the radiation oncologists recommended radiation, and the radiation oncologists who performed brachytherapy, well, they recommended brachytherapy. Seems that Bob was the “perfect candidate” for any treatment, yet these options were not exactly perfect for him. The potential complications and lifelong side effects drove him to find yet another alternative: proton therapy. The problem was, proton therapy is not available everywhere, and many of the doctors he saw simply did not know about it, so they dismissed it as an option.
Bob methodically researched the science of protons, interviewed former patients, and asked many questions of the proton team at Loma Linda University Medical Center, yet he could not find a reason not to have treatment with proton therapy. This book chronicles Bob's research, the pros and cons of each option presented to him, his decision-making process, his consultation and treatment at Loma Linda, and life after treatment. It is a must-read for any man (and his partner) faced with this daunting diagnosis and decision, or anyone interested in learning about proton therapy. Protons are becoming more widely available, with 5 centers operating in the U.S. and at least 16 more in development. Despite this, many doctors do not know much about it, and it often falls on the patient to explore protons as a treatment option. This book is a great place to start this exploration, as Bob has done much of the homework for you.
Bob has not beaten prostate cancer and then walked away; he has beaten it and continues to meet it head on for the sake of others. He started the first organization for men who have received, are receiving, or are considering proton therapy for prostate cancer. The group has over 2,500 members from 21 countries and is a tremendous resource for these men (and their partners). Visit their website at www.protonbob.com.