The story of Joe, the Proton Ambassadors initial organisor, including his prostate cancer diagnosis and positive experience with proton therapy
We are a group of former cancer sufferers who chose to undergo proton therapy to treat our cancer.
We believe that no one has to suffer during and after cancer treatment, thanks to modern technologies, quality of life can be preserved. We aim to raise awareness about this type of treatment, as we hope that more people will make the decision to have proton therapy, and experience the same benefits that we have.
Many people who have received proton therapy initially faced some challenges and were naturally apprehensive about making the right treatment decision. Together we have formed a non-profit organisation to inform people about proton therapy and to help those going through the process of deciding and planning for their cancer treatment.
Unfortunately there is little awareness surrounding proton therapy and most cancer sufferers will not even know it could be an option for them. We see ourselves as ambassadors of proton therapy, with our main goal being an increase in knowledge about the treatment.
A rising number of patients have been met with scepticism, negativity and a general lack of information from their UK-based physicians concerning proton therapy. We would like to help anyone facing this challenge and provide reassurance that it shouldn’t discourage you from seeking more information.
It is important for people to understand that proton therapy provides the best results when started early, and there is no need to go through a long and stressful testing or monitoring process. If the treatment is started earlier it often means less fractions are needed, so the treatment period can be very short and at a lower cost.
Proton beam therapy provides many advantages over other treatment options. It is very accurately targeted, which means it does not damage healthy tissue surrounding the tumour, unlike conventional radiotherapy. This leads to a drastic reduction in side effects from treatment, preserving quality of life during and after treatment. Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer treated with proton therapy, and one which can have a high risk of long term side effects from other treatment options when compared with proton therapy. Proton therapy has also been shown to have better long term results with a reduced rate of relapse.
(Persistent di culties in achieving and maintaining an erection su cient for complete sexual intercourse)
(Involuntary release of urine)
(Reccurence of the disease and the same condition as before treatment)
Proton therapy is growing worldwide due to the rising number of newly diagnosed cancer cases and the effectiveness of protons. Today there are 57 treatment centres worldwide, with two centres planned for construction in the UK. We would like to share our experiences gaining treatment outside of the UK and provide advice to anyone who is interested in finding a suitable treatment centre. We have informative materials prepared that we can pass on to you and your doctors, and we have many knowledgeable contacts in the medical field that we can put you in touch with.
Word of mouth It is our hope that more cancer sufferers will learn of this treatment option, and the most important thing we can do for this is simply spreading awareness through word of mouth. In sharing stories of our experiences we could lead someone else to proton therapy when they may otherwise have never known about it.
Social media One of the ways we intend to educate people about this treatment is through social media. This is a space where our experiences can be shared and discussed with people who might like some advice. We've set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for people to connect with us, we welcome you to comment with any questions or feedback you may have. We also have a YouTube channel you might like to check out.
Contact and support We are available for cancer sufferers and their families to contact us with any questions, or if they just wish to hear our experiences. We hope to be able to take some of the stress away from the process and possibly help them make their own treatment decisions. This advice could be given over the phone, through email or possibly in person.
Here is a list of our ambassadors, you are able to contact us with questions and we aim to have someone who had a similar diagnosis help you.
I am Joe Tuftnell, the first UK patient to receive treatment at The Proton Therapy Center in Prague, celebrating my three year anniversary in 2016. My experience far exceeded my expectations and that’s why I am helping this organisation to reach as many people as possible with information about proton therapy.
If you wish to contact me you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I want British men to be informed about all available options as I am convinced that no men have to suffer during and after their prostate cancer treatment.”
ﬁrst UK patient to receive treatment