The Woodward News

Features

September 23, 2012

Local man pleased with proton therapy for cancer treatment

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — WHAT IS PROTON THERAPY?

Dr. Gary Larson, a proton radiation oncologist with ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City, used a weapon metaphor to try to explain the difference between radiation and proton therapy.

"Radiation is the process by which beams of x-rays go through the body and give radiation to the tumor in order to kill the cancer cells.  These x-rays go straight through like a bullet and damage everything, including healthy tissue as it goes through," Larson said.  "With proton therapy, protons travel all the way to the tumor, giving almost no radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue.  Then once they reach the tumor, they expel all their energy, so it's more like a depth charge."

The oncologist said that is what helps make proton therapy so valuable for treating certain kinds of cancer, such as brain tumors and head and neck cancer.

In addition, Larson said proton therapy is a good option for "all children who need radiation therapy."

That's because "conventional radiation can cause bones and soft tissue to not develop properly, which is not good in children who are still growing, especially when it comes to brain cancer treatment," he said.

WORTH THE COST

One detractor to proton therapy is perhaps the cost of the treatments, which can be expensive since the therapy uses advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment.

Larson noted that is also one of the reasons that there aren't more proton therapy centers, as the ProCure center in Oklahoma City alone cost $120 million to build.

But for Billy and Rita, their insurance covered the costs of the treatments.

Also the couple say they see the benefits of the treatment as worth the cost.

"People have said it's more expensive, but so what?  If you don't have the pain, so what if it costs more?" Billy said.

"And even if it is more expensive, it probably costs less in the long run because you don't have to treat for all the side effects and after effects of radiation," Rita said.

For Billy and Rita, proton therapy was invaluable, which is why they are happy to now be advocates for the treatments.

"We are definitely advertising for it," Rita said.  "So if someone has a tumor and they catch it early, they should definitely check it (proton therapy) out.  Because after we went through this and the good experience we had with it, we felt bad for those who don't know about it."

To learn more about proton therapy and the ProCure treatment center, visit www.procure.com/ok.

 

Text Only
Features
  • jonesweb.jpg Jones wraps up career with Southgate United

    Next week will see the end to almost a half century of meat cutting for Bob Jones, who is retiring July 18 as the meat department manager at Southgate United.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • literacyweb.jpg ESL classes continue to grow

    When Cambodian born Kuneth Ly (pronounced Lee) came to live in Oklahoma with her American born husband, she didn’t know any English at all and she certainly never thought she would wind up living in Woodward as a business owner.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seniors discuss holiday memories

    Periodically, the Woodward News plans to visit with local and area seniors to get their memories and thoughts on special days, events or various issues and share them with our readers. And what better way to start off than with memories of the Fourth of July.

    July 2, 2014

  • Dairy Queen marks 50th year of selling fireworks

    July 4, 2014 will mark the 50th year for the Dairy Queen Fireworks Stand.

    June 30, 2014

  • Historic bridge anchors renovations at Doby Springs

    An historic, depression era bridge listed on the National Historical Register has been trucked from Grant County, where the bridge spanned Sand Creek since 1936, to Doby Springs Park and Golf Course near Buffalo.

    May 25, 2014

  • Lighthouse can help change lives

    Self admitted methamphetamine and prescription drug addict, "Jay" describes his life nearly a month ago as being in a free fall that would have eventually ended badly.

    April 10, 2014

  • reaweb.jpg Rea recalls a career in history

    Retirement for some people can begin a transition fraught with a little spell of depression and even grief over the loss of one’s job, which many use to define themselves.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • redcrossweb.jpg New volunteer joins Red Cross

    March is Red Cross Awareness Month.
    “It is a time to honor the mission and we use this as a chance to honor the everyday heroes that help us fulfill the mission,” said Northwest Oklahoma Red Cross chapter Disaster Services director Gordon Burgess.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Troop 251web.jpg Plans made for Troop 251 reunion

    When D. L. "Ferd" Waddell, retired veterinarian, left Woodward approximately 12 years ago, his friend Linda Meyer promised she would plan a reunion of Boy Scout Troop 251, over which Dr. Waddell was scoutmaster for nearly 13 years.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • City saying goodbye to veteran police captain

    Woodward Police Capt. Tony Alexander has been a cop so long, he's not sure what he's going to do in the second half of his life. But that's about the only thing he's not sure of.

    February 23, 2014