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A clearly superior treatment option

Bill Makley, a freelance copywriter who had recently relocated to Mexico from Florida, had just been diagnosed with elevated PSA levels. On the advice of his urologist, he began a three-year period of “watchful waiting” that, in 2019, culminated in a positive biopsy for prostate cancer.

Rather than panic, Bill diligently began researching the pros and cons of various treatment options, a process that ultimately landed him at the New York Proton Center. It was, in retrospect, a life-saving decision. His therapy was quick and painless, resulting in none of the side effects—particularly incontinence and impotence—so common to other prostate cancer treatments.

Today, Bill is back home in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, just blocks from the town’s world-class restaurants and sun-drenched beaches, healthy enough to regularly climb the 600-foot staircase to the Cerro De La Cruz Lookout and take in panoramic views of the magnificent Sierra Madre mountains.

A reassuring phone conversation tips the scales

Upon learning of his diagnosis, Bill at first gravitated toward a common radiation treatment for prostate cancer known as CyberKnife. But he was advised to explore other options by his brother-in-law, a former New York Times reporter who had himself survived prostate cancer and—after interviewing nearly 20 oncologists—concluded that proton therapy appeared to be a safer and more effective option.

 

Perhaps most tellingly, even Bill’s local urologist in Puerto Vallarta—despite being in a position to perform (and profit from) other popular prostate cancer treatments like surgical prostatectomy or HIFU—steered him toward proton therapy instead.

 

Having made his decision, Bill first investigated proton centers in nearby Phoenix and Southern California. But ultimately, he chose the newly opened New York Proton Center in New York City, mainly due to an “incredibly informative” phone consultation with Dr. Shaakir Hasan, an attending radiation oncologist at the center.

 

“I liked him a lot,” Bill says. “He had this ability to clearly articulate the protocol and the procedures. He gave me a real sense of trust.”

Warmth and compassion

Bill’s treatment, which began in late January 2020 and continued every weekday for five weeks, went amazingly well. The few side effects were negligible: a mild increase in frequency of urination, for which he was prescribed medication, and some tan marks on his skin from the proton beam.

 

With each session ending by 11am, Bill could still put in a full day’s work—even squeezing in a daily stroll through Central Park—and wrap up by evening. What’s more, because he was able to stay with his sister and brother-in-law on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, commuting to the center was a breeze.

 

Perhaps most of all, Bill was struck by the warmth and incredible friendliness of the staff—and of one nurse in particular.

 

“I emailed her a big thank you. She showed such compassion, such caring. And that was really important to me.”

How can we help?

Want to find out if proton therapy might be a good fit for you or your patient? Call us at 833-NYPROTON (833-697-7686) or fill out the appropriate form below.