Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of external radiotherapy that uses high-energy proton beams instead of photon x-ray beams or electrons. Carefully measured doses of protons are delivered to the precise area needing treatment, using the latest IBA ProteusONE technology. This ensures that the delivery of proton beam therapy is highly accurate and prevents the risk of radiation reaching surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiotherapy is used to kill and destroy cancer cells. It utilises radiation in the form of high-energy x-rays, known as photons, to kill and damage the cancerous cells and prevent their growth and reproduction. It can be used as a non-surgical option to treat cancer, and it can also be used to shrink a tumour or in combination with other treatments.
The Rutherford Cancer Centres and Elekta are bringing the next generation of personalised adaptive radiotherapy technology to oncology centres across the UK, with the new MR-linac Elekta Unity now available at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West in Liverpool.
With over 47,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK each year – or 130 a day, and over 11,000 men dying from the disease per year. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the biggest killer of male cancer patients in the UK.
The PSA test is a simple blood test that is used to check for a protein produced by prostate cancer cells. A raised level through a blood test could indicate cancerous cells. It will be held at the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley for the first time, which offers pioneering proton beam therapy as well as conventional cancer treatments.
Dr Christopher Blick, consultant urologist at the Rutherford Cancer Centre, said: “It is very important that men are aware of the risks of prostate cancer and when it is likely to occur. Whilst in most cases it will occur in later life, it is still possible for men in their 50s or even late 40s to get prostate cancer.”
“This is an opportunity to raise the profile of prostate cancer and offer concerned men a blood test courtesy of the Reading Lions Club. Men who have a raised PSA will be contacted and advised on their next steps.”
To undertake a PSA test privately would typically incur a cost of £120 - £160.
Chris Howes, 48, from Bradfield Southend, Berkshire, attended a Reading Lions Club PSA test event last year. His blood test showed a slightly raised PSA. A targeted biopsy confirmed mild to moderate cancer. Chris subsequently underwent treatment and has been cancer free since.
Chris has urged men to not delay getting a check-up: “I was extremely fortunate to come to this event and have a test which flagged up a potential problem. I was completely symptomless, were it not for this test, my cancer would have been left undiagnosed. Today I am completely cancer free, I was back at work two weeks after my surgery and I urge everyone not to delay getting themselves tested. It simply is not worth the risk of delaying.”
Alan McMahon, 71, from Emmer Green, also attended last year’s event after coming across a Reading Lions leaflet promoting the event.
“I learned of the event after my wife and I were given a Lions’ leaflet in Costa, Caversham regarding the Prostate Cancer awareness day they were having. Previously unaware of this programme we thought it was an excellent opportunity for me, even though I was totally symptomless regarding the cancer and apparently in very good health. I had my blood test and, when I received the Lions result letter, I was shocked to see that my PSA reading was abnormally high. I immediately contacted my GP and she referred me to a specialist urologist at the Royal Berks.”
“I am so pleased and relieved that I had responded to the Lions’ flyer. After a month of Radiotherapy I was placed on a three-monthly hormone injection programme and my PSA reading is now virtually Zero. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Lions have saved my life as the cancer was caught just in time before it spread elsewhere. I cannot stress enough how important it is that ALL men over 50 be tested and therefore take advantage of this event at the Rutherford centre and book a test.”
In 2018, Over 2000 men attended the Reading Lions event for a PSA blood test, of those over 100 patients were subsequently seen by a specialist to discuss further investigations and 40 were found to have prostate cancer.
As part of our prostate cancer treatments, Rutherford Cancer Centres have recently collaborated with SpaceOAR Hydrogel and BioProtect Balloon Spacers to provide greater protection for surrounding healthy tissues during the delivery of prostate cancer radiotherapy treatment.