Diagnosed in January 2018 with a high PSA level, Larry Giammarco went to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for further tests. His biopsy revealed prostate cancer.
What came next was a journey of investigation and discovery, with the goal of determining which treatment was best for him.
Larry met separately with four oncologists specializing in different therapies for prostate cancer. He heard about the pros and cons of prostate surgery. He learned about different types of radiation therapy, including brachytherapy, in which radioactive “seeds” are implanted in the prostate, and photon beam therapy, in which radiation doses are delivered at the surface of the body and travel through the tumor.
On his last stop, Larry met with Dr. Oren Cahlon at Memorial Sloan Kettering to discuss proton therapy.
“Within 10 minutes of chatting with Dr. Cahlon, and asking my questions, I knew proton therapy was the right decision for me,” Larry says.
Among other questions, Larry wanted to know if he was a good candidate for proton therapy. He was concerned about possible side effects, and wondered if he would be able to work throughout his treatment. Like many patients, he also worried whether the treatment might cause future urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction.
“At 56 years old, quality of life issues were important to me,” Larry explains.
“After my research, I really had a lot of confidence that proton therapy technology is superior to anything else available, and that it also gave me the best opportunity to continue with a normal life.”