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Proton therapy uses a precision-focused radiation beam to target and treat both benign and malignant tumors. Unnecessary radiation delivery to uninvolved normal tissues should be avoided whenever possible, and proton beam radiation allows for the maximal sparing of normal tissues. Unlike traditional radiation, which has a more generalized path that sends radiation through the tumor, proton radiation utilizes specific frequencies to help dial in the intended point of treatment. This creates a more targeted radiation that allows physicians the ability to focus higher levels of radiation directly on the tumor. The result spares more healthy cells, tissue and organs from radiation, which can significantly reduce side effects and treatment discomfort.3-4, 6-8, 15
Proton therapy treatments are nonsurgical, noninvasive and may result in minimal side effects, though some patients may experience fatigue or minor skin irritation or hair loss within the treated area. More serious complications are possible, though rare, and are dependent on factors such as treatment plan, tumor location and size.
Typically, proton therapy patients receive daily treatment for a number of weeks depending on variables such as tumor type, size and location. Most patients continue to enjoy daily activities outside of therapy sessions.3-4, 6-8, 15
Learn why some chose proton therapy over traditional radiation treatment.
Prostate Cancer Survivor, HUPTI graduation — January, 2011
Cabinet Maker (Ret.)
Never having been ill before, I was extremely apprehensive about my diagnosis and treatment. However, the first time I entered the Proton Center, I was immediately put at ease. The doctors and staff were thorough in explaining the procedure in depth. They were absolutely right about not having any side effects and I was able to continue my life as usual and with no restrictions. The only evidence was the very slight tanning of each side of my hips.
Everyone at the center from the doctors, technicians, office and maintenance and everyone was pleasant and professional. They made each day of treatment go quickly. The environment at HUPTI is exceptional! The doctors, technicians and people in every department are all very caring.
Brain Cancer SURVIVOR
In 2016, I was a junior in college at Christopher Newport University. In my spring semester, I was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, Anaplastic Ependymoma. As a 21 year old student, we looked for the best, most minimally invasive option available to treat my young brain. When we heard about Proton Therapy technology and experienced the care that Dr. Allan Thornton and the radiologist staff at Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) provided, we looked no further.
Our experience at HUPTI was unparalleled. With little to no side effects, I was able to live a “normal” life and finish school while undergoing cancer treatment – how is that possible? HUPTI made that possible. Thanks to the staff there, I was able to keep my spirits up during my darkest days. My family and I were overwhelmed daily with the level of care we received from all involved in my treatment plan. There is no better option than proton therapy, and there is certainly no better place to receive it than HUPTI!
As I approach 5 years of remission, I look back with immense gratitude for my time at Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute. I am blessed from the experience, and forever changed.
Prostate Cancer Survivor
My experience with HUPTI was one of confidence building in a very caring and comfortable environment during a scary time in my life. All persons were confident, energetic and friendly during and after treatment — they were really something. The staff was very supportive and informative throughout my treatment experience. I can definitely recommend HUPTI for the treatment of cancer. Proton therapy allowed me to continue with my daily activities.
Brain Tumor Survivor,
Mother of Three
When I first received the brain tumor diagnosis, it was such a scary thing to hear. The tumor was near my optic nerve, and with conventional radiation, there was a possibility of blindness. I am a busy mother of three girls. I wanted to be able to see my daughters grow up. I wanted to be able to witness all their milestones. I researched proton therapy and when I saw the experience and expertise of the physicians and staff at the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, I began to feel at ease. My husband didn’t have to take off work to drive me to my treatments. I could drive myself. The only side effect I experienced was minor fatigue. I was able to maintain my busy schedule as a mother. My family didn’t see any changes. Isn’t that amazing? Proton therapy gave me normalcy and saved my eyesight.
Owner of Goodman & Sons Jewelers
Prostate Cancer SURVIVOR
Back in June of 2016, I had a high PSA and my doctor recommended a biopsy; prostate cancer was discovered during that biopsy. When I was diagnosed, I was devastated. I thought that was a death sentence. This disease runs in my family. My uncle and my cousin both had prostate cancer and both opted for surgery – I saw firsthand what it did to them with the side effects and complications.
I thought there had to be another option. My doctors said it was surgery or regular radiation; they didn’t tell me anything about proton therapy. I did my own research and decided proton therapy was right for me.
I feel great. I had no side effects. My treatments were scheduled for early in the morning – I would go in at about 8am and be out of there in an hour or less. I didn’t miss a day of work. In fact, I didn’t miss a beat. The process was very comfortable.
I’m very grateful. Being a father, grandfather and a business owner, I wanted to continue my life with as little interruption as possible. Proton therapy afforded me that opportunity. I want to thank the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute for the wonderful treatment I received. We’re very fortunate to have a facility like this here in Hampton.
Prostate Cancer SURVIVOR
In July of 2009, I received a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Because I had many friends who had issues with conventional radiation, I wanted to seek an alternative treatment.
I decided on proton therapy at Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) and I am very happy with my decision. My appointments lasted about 30 minutes per day for about eight weeks. After treatment, I would go home and work in my garden. Years later I haven’t had any after effects and I did not have to change my regular daily routine at any point.
I have been to every type of medical facility you can think of, but Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute stands apart from all of them. Being one of the very first patients at this facility has changed my outlook on life.
Oral Cancer Survivor, HUPTI Graduation — April 24, 2013
Being diagnosed with cancer is a frightening and life-changing event. After being diagnosed with a form of oral cancer called intermediate grade mucoepidermoid carcinoma, I was first faced with having surgery to remove the tumor from my hard palate. My next challenge was to choose whether to undergo intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or proton radiation therapy. I did research on both radiation technologies. I consulted with a radiation oncologist that specialized in IMRT before visiting HUPTI. My visits were very different.
At the IMRT center, I felt like I was just another patient to them, not a unique individual. However, I felt welcomed and cared for from the moment I first stepped into HUPTI. Everyone at HUPTI goes the extra mile to make patients and their family and friends feel welcomed and at ease about the radiation process. After my initial consultation, I decided to move forward with proton therapy at HUPTI because of:
1. The fact that long term side effects are less likely with proton therapy
2. The expertise, thoroughness, and friendliness of my radiation oncologist at HUPTI
3. The sincere benevolence of all the staff members at HUPTI
I will be forever grateful to HUPTI.
Breast Cancer SURVIVOR
The possibility that I had breast cancer was suggested during a doctor’s exam back in 2016. They thought they suspected something, but they weren’t totally sure. At this point, I went to have a mammogram and found out I had breast cancer. Proton therapy was presented to me by one of my sisters and then I posed questions to the Doctor myself. The Doctor did not recommend anything – he couldn’t. Yet in still he gave me some great information that proved to be very valuable.
My initial visit to the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) was awesome and very relaxing. They were so friendly and it felt like you were a part of a family. It gave me renewed hope, to be honest. I knew what was going to go on; they were very direct in explaining the process. They made it extremely easy for me to come to my final decision. I was finished within a few weeks of treatment.
I feel great and I’m living a good life after my treatment at HUPTI. I’m breast cancer free – I had no side effects during or after. You won’t find a better treatment facility or more personalized care. I will be forever thankful to the staff at HUPTI for what they did for me.
10-Year Prostate Cancer SURVIVOR
2011 HUPTI Graduate
After five years of a slowly increasing PSA and a number of biopsies, I was notified on September 16, 2010 that cancerous cells were detected. I had read and conducted a lot of research on the Internet — just in case I was ever detected as positive.
I immediately called Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute (HUPTI) and received information of the facility, as well as a guided tour. I was impressed with the facility and what it offered. I was pretty sure that this would be the treatment for me. Then I read Bob Marckini’s book, “You Can Beat Prostate Cancer,” which led me to my final decision.
My first treatment began on February 7, 2011. All of the people that treated me were all very knowledgeable, professional, caring and friendly. Doctors Sinesi and Thornton were very impressive. Even though the facility was new and had just begun to treat patients, the doctors and staff had a lot of experience. I felt this was the A-Team attending to my care. I went to work every day during my treatment with no side effects. I am so happy I met these great people at the HUPTI.