Archive for the ‘Patient Testimonies’ Category

Guest Post: Dan Fitzgerald

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

My Journey to Find the Cure for My Prostate Cancer
With No Quality of Life Consequences

August the 4th, 2009, I received the results of my annual and routine PSA test. The result was 4.1, not very high, but greater than the 4.0 established as the upper limit of the acceptable range. My PSA increased about 80% from 18 months ago. My urologist scheduled another and more rigorous PSA test for confirmation, and it also was 4.1 with a percent free of 19. He asked if I wanted a biopsy and I said yes. In mid-September, the results showed a “very, very small” tumor of 1mm involving 5% of one of the 12 core samples with a Gleason 6(3+3). The urologist suggested Avodart and watchful waiting but I insisted on a curative approach. He set up consultations with a robotic surgeon and a photon radiation oncologist. He also gave me a slightly outdated book to read about Prostate cancer and the various curative and other options with statistics regarding quality of life consequences. I went to see the consultants and after a discussion on their specialty was told I was a “poster boy (I’m age 70 in excellent health)” for their “cure”. Both were vague and evasive about quality of life issues. I am not trying to bore you, but does this sound familiar? I and my wife were scared to death. I had the big “C”. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 72 and died from it at age 74.

I read the book my urologist loaned me and the data about quality of life issues really scared me. I attended a prostate support group and listened to men who had classic surgery, robotic surgery, modern photon radiation, cryosurgery and those who were hopeful of being cured by exotic diet and juices, discuss the horrible quality of life issues. One man had horrible life changing rectal problems that required him to be within 30 minutes of a bathroom 24/7. Others had incontinence and impotence of varying degrees ranging from a lot to total. Most men had multiple consequences. All of these men were very discouraged and had little hope of significant improvement.

When I arrived home that evening I was very discouraged and told my wife that I believed that cures exist, but it was a matter of how much quality of life I wanted to gamble and probably lose. Chances of being cured with no adverse consequences are very low for the treatments discussed. I was very discouraged, scared, and did not know what to do. I was discussing this dilemma with a friend who had a friend receiving Proton Radiation at Loma Linda Medical Center in Loma Linda, California, for his prostate cancer. He said he would put me in contact with him. I discouraged him as my urologist and the other consultants I had met with discouraged consideration of proton radiation (no rational reason given). Being raised to believe everything my doctor says as fact, I did not consider proton radiation.

I received an email from the patient who was almost finished with his proton radiation at Loma Linda, who told me about proton radiation and that it has a cure rate for prostate cancer as good as or better than any other method with none to few adverse consequences. I thought this was just too good to be true. Like most men who are doing research about prostate cancer cures and consequences, I had my list of questions to ask doctors. I sent them to my new friend at Loma Linda and again found the answers to be relatively favorable – and hard to believe. He also sent me a copy of Bob Marckini’s book YOU CAN BEAT Prostate Cancer And You Don’t Need Surgery To Do It. I read the book and still found it hard to believe that Proton radiation was the cure with virtually no quality of life consequences. I contacted Bob and he asked what it would take to convince me that it is true. I said I needed to talk to men who have had the treatment and could tell me directly about the experience and their results. He sent me several hundred names and phone numbers to call. I called about 60 men form the list, selected randomly, and found each man to be cured and with virtually NO quality of life Issues. I was convinced. In mid-January – mid March 2010, I received 45 proton radiation treatments at Loma Linda University Medical Center Proton Treatment Center. I have NO quality of Life issues.

On July 15, 2010, I got my first after treatment PSA test. It was 1.7, a 59% reduction. Good Huh! It can take 12 – 18 months after treatment for the PSA value to become negligible. If you want to talk to one who has recently received proton radiation, call me at 310-344-2306. Email:

Since starting proton radiation in January 2010, I have personally talked to over a thousand men about their experience with proton radiation. I have yet to find the man who has experienced significant adverse quality of life consequences resulting from their prostate cancer proton radiation cancer cure. The many wives that I have talked to were also delighted.

Another Patient-Sponsored Organization

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Check out:

This is a site founded by folks treated at MD Anderson and is modeled after Bob Marckini’s site.

Guest Post: Bill Vancil

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

In July of 2004, I completed my proton treatment at Loma Linda. My experience was so rewarding, I wrote a book about it. In Chapter 27 of “Don’t Fear the Big Dogs,” I told of my last proton treatment:

In the changing room, as I was looking in the mirror, untying the perfectly-tied knot behind my neck that held up the hospital gown, the realization that my treatments were actually over hit me. Tears gushed out uncontrollably.

I was never able to establish the predominant source of those tears. Was it relief that the treatments were finished? Was it the knowledge that, maybe, I had truly been cured of cancer? Or, was it because the whole marvelous journey was almost over? The best I could determine it was a blend of all of those things. In the mirror I saw my own face, tanned by weeks in the California sun, reflecting a mystifying mosaic of sheer relief, genuine joy, and yes…profound sadness at the thought of leaving.

The receptionist, Levita, handed me a plain brown envelope which contained a certificate of completion from the Brotherhood of the Balloon and a beautiful gold lapel pin with the proton logo. I knew it represented an accomplishment I should be proud of and for which I should be grateful.

So, that’s it? First they told me I was sick. Then they treated me as if I were sick. Then they told me I’m not sick anymore. And, I still feel the same as I did before I found out I had cancer. It almost seemed too easy. As I walked down the hallway that would lead me out of the hospital, I contemplated the impact this place has had on so many lives over the years.

Loma Linda Medical Center is a Seventh-day Adventist Health Sciences Institution, and truly lives up to the Mission Statement posted in the radiation center lobby:

“The mission of Loma Linda University Medical Center is to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, to make man whole, in a setting of advancing medical science and to provide a stimulating clinical and research environment for the education of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.”

Thank God for those who work to advance medical research!

Now, six years later, I find that my time at Loma Linda has served me, and others, well. Being cured of cancer seems almost like a bonus. The other rewards include being able to counsel men who are contemplating their new challenge of facing prostate cancer. My confidence in medical professionals also served me well, as this year I spent three and a half months in University of Wisconsin Hospital having a liver transplant. During my time there, I often leaned on my Loma Linda experiences to help me maintain a positive attitude and hold confidence in my surgeons and other caregivers. Phone calls and emails from people at Loma Linda were truly appreciated.

While in the hospital, I continued to talk with men from around the country who called me to discuss treatment for prostate cancer. I was sure to tell them I was in the hospital for something unrelated to my prostate! I didn’t want them to think I’d had a recurrence. The following is from one of several emails I have received from Liangni Liu, who’s been contemplating going for proton treatment. This is dated June 16, 2010. I edited it slightly for length:

Hi Bill,

Yesterday unexpected news came to me that said I was approved. My wife and I were overwhelmed with sheer Joy and deep gratitude. We were suddenly in touch with an “ instinct of truth”~ an immediate awareness of what is right and true, a truth without reflection: God is alive, Magic is afoot.

I can never forget how your info, advice, and encouragement have helped me to cross over those difficulties. Fortune favored me to meet you in my life. Indeed, you are the angel God sent to me.

In order to speed the process, yesterday morning I faxed a personal appeal letter to insurance company, to express how I feel about the importance of Proton; how will it greatly effect my life quality, just speak from my heart. We are expecting to get an affirmative answer next week. Never was I that lucky so soon. I’ve been granted peace of mind.

In the presence of deep appreciation, I have no alternative but to live nobly.

Your friend, Liangni

For me, that’s what it’s all about. Being able to share my Loma Linda experience with other men, helping them assess their treatment choices, and seeing them enjoy the same positive outcome. I’m now working on my next book, as yet untitled, which will focus on the importance of keeping a positive attitude and appreciating the support and prayers received from friends and family during a challenging time.

So, what’s in store next? We never know. For example, last week I had a wisdom tooth pulled, and three days later lost my balance while walking the dog, fell down and cracked a rib. Ouch!

But, guess what?

Being alive to experience all of life’s ups and downs is far better than the alternative.

Bill Vancil
Madison, Wisconsin
Phone: 608-798-2600

Who is Selling What?

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I have never been satisfied that anything works better for Prostate cancers that are not metastatic (and if localized) than Protons.

So I asked my friend Jerry Klein, master of photography, and who has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, who was treated for Prostate cancer in 2000 at Loma Linda what he had to say. The following are his observations:

“I find the IMRT thing a scam. It is X-Ray treatment and they have renamed and repackaged it make it sound new and dodge the reputation of X-Ray treatment. Proton treatment of the prostate dissipates 70% of the radiation in the gland and targeted margins, a much higher percentage than X-Rays or any other neutral radiation. This is enormously significant because safety limits the amount of radiation that our bodies can tolerate.

The sad tale of neutron radiation treatment at Stanford University attests to dangers of too high dosages…neutral radiation is not special! And don’t let anyone scam you into believing that the treatments you are considering have anything like the low side effects of protons or higher or even comparable cure rates.

I have never encountered any proton patients with stories comparable to those that I get from those who had these other treatments.

The side effects are terrible and affect quality of life forever. When I was being treated patients were there for salvage after failed surgery, cryo, etc. They all wished they had chosen protons. If you have metastatic disease none of the treatments that you mention will provide a cure…yes, there are therapies that have promise, but none that I know of that really stop the disease. And if the disease is localized cures are almost certainly 100%. It would be nice if a test that absolutely determines whether the disease is localized exists, but so far as I know there is none.

The scams all have their origin in the enormous profits that are on the table. So many urologists continue to call proton therapy experimental, unproven, dangerous…so sad, so unprofessional, so common and flat out unethical.

-Jerry Klein (Ph. D., Chemistry)”

Back to statements I have made in the past, it is the responsibility of Urologists and other Doctors to know all viable treatments that are available so the patient can make his own decision on the right treatment for him.

On the 27th of January 2010 I will complete 10 years and five months of success due to the professional experts at Loma Linda University and Medical Center and my fine Doctor Carl Rossi – without any side effects!

Go to my home page and find out how to contact me on E-mail. I usually respond to you in one hour or less.

New INFORMATION about a “proven Prostate cancer treatment” is what this web site is all about!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Recently one diagnosed Prostate Cancer man asked about “Hype”? on my web site. In my Webster, the key definitions of Hype are “Deceive, publicize”.

Here’s what I say; yes I tell men about “protons” so you could say I publicize, “bring to public attention” information about Proton Therapy. But let me make it clear that I receive NO money, NO benefits, NO inducement for my site. My interest in telling others about Protons and supporting the Proton treatment program is all my passion and joy at my results and has always been so since the beginning of the Web site.

I hope that all of you seek a second opinion. YOU have to make the decision regarding your treatment. If it were me, I’d listen to your doctor and then get a second opinion from a Proton Therapy Center. If your doctor or doctors don’t know about protons, you can ask a Proton expert at the Proton therapy sites listed on the “Links” page on

The FACTS are that Loma Linda is the “leading” Prostate treatment center using Protons in the world and through December 2006 has treated a total of 11,562 patients with protons. Of that number 7,743 (67 percent) were Prostate Cancer patients.

Also, there are five, ten and fifteen year reports published that show that Proton Therapy meets or betters any other treatment and has the superior advantage of reduced side effects.

The latest buzz is Robotic Surgery for Prostate cancer which, just like anything else, needs a track record. Protons have been around since 1961 and Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery since 2002, a boon to steady the hands of surgeons – it’s still surgery. As Bob Marckini says, “The way I look at robotic laparoscopic surgery is that it’s just a fancier way to make a ‘buggy whip’ – i.e. it’s a slicker way of doing something that’s gone out of style.

When I went through Loma Linda beginning in July 1999, I had waited almost a year from diagnosis. We had ages ranging from 40 to 90, so at Loma Linda that hasn’t changed to my knowledge while other centers may have different protocols. I do know that the beauty of the Proton is that it is well tolerated at any age.

Effectiveness and outcome of prostate treatment using Protons (or almost any other treatment methodology), depends on your condition when being treated. I was 69 when treated in 1999, in good shape and now I am 77. The results normally depend on your PSA, Gleason Score and Staging. My PSA was 15.9, my Gleason 6, my Staging T1C. As of Nov. 2006 my PSA is less than 0.2.

My case is explained at my web site at

Read Bob Marckini’s great book about his Proton experience and it can be found at the web site. I hope all of this helps you in making your own decision.

Jim Tuggey
Web site owner
March 1, 2007

Six Years

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

On August 27th, 1999 I completed my Proton treatment for Prostate Cancer. I was treated at Loma Linda University’s Proton Treatment Center by wonderful people who are today the best I’ve ever met. Here six years later I do not have any side effects and thank Dr. John Griswell and Steve Zogg for pointing me in the right direction in early 1999.

The lack of any side effects has been most impressive and my PSA today at (less than) .1 has raised my expectations for no more trouble from my prostate. Thank you Dr. Carl Rossi and R.N. Sharon Hoyle for my care in your remarkable hands and the team from Gantry 3.

I am absolutely delighted to see M D Anderson coming on line in early 2006 with more power added to the Proton Therapy base. God bless you all.

Jim Tuggey
August 27, 2005

Loma Linda & brain tumors

Thursday, June 9th, 2005

This is a man who sings with me and his mother-in-law was going blind. Here’s what he says in case anyone thinks that Loma Linda only treats Prostates:

“My mother in-law has returned from Loma Linda. They have reduced the size of her brain tumor and think that they have stopped any further growth. Her vision to her eye has returned. She’ll have MRIs every six months to monitor. Thanks for the tip TUGG!!!”


Sunday, March 7th, 2004

Welcome to 2004 and continuing good news about Prostate treatment over the last twelve and one half years, at LLUMC using “Protons” with more and more men offering testimonies about their “Proton” experience. You can read their stories at

I’m not a doctor, but I have been treated successfully using the Proton at Loma Linda University, Proton Treatment Center (LLUMC) in 1999. I just returned from Loma Linda in November 2003 with a PSA at 0.2 after four years and three months with only minor side effects and no pain. I started at a PSA of 15.9, Gleason 6, and Stage T1C.

On investigation I think you will find that Proton success rates are equal or better than other methods of treatment including radical prostatectomy without the pain. From my point of view, one of the distinct advantages of treatment using the Proton, is the maintenance of your “Quality of Life”.

New uses are being found for the proton in treating “Lung” cancer, “Wet” Macular Degeneration of the eye and other cancers and benign tumors, are all exciting with more to come including protons for breast cancer.