PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - More men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year than any other cancer, even more than breast cancer in women. It is a slow growing cancer, but left untreated, it can be a killer.
Revolutionary treatment options just minutes from the Valley are making for a much better life for men with prostate cancer.
"It was actually a fantastic adventure," said Hilton Cranston-Whittaker. The 70-year-old was not talking about one of his latest hiking adventures but rather his battle with cancer.
"I had high blood pressure at the time, but it never bothered me," said Cranston-Whittaker.
But, it bothered his wife, so Cranston-Whittaker went in for a blood test and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March.
"My wife, I have to say, is my angel," said Cranston-Whittaker.
Knowing men who had gone through painful surgery, Cranston-Whittaker wanted to find another way.
"All I ever heard of was doomsday from men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer," said Cranston-Whittaker.
That's when he found proton therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center, the first hospital in the country to offer the non-invasive treatment.
"It is the miracle treatment," said Cranston-Whittaker.
Doctors are able to use high energy proton particles to target cancer cells and only cancer cells.
"My treatment was two minutes long, two minutes each day for 45 days and then it was all over," said Cranston-Whittaker.
Best of all there are virtually no side affects.
"I didn't feel anything, I actually said, can I get my money back because I don't feel a thing. It is absolutely extraordinary," said Cranston-Whittaker.
He would walk five miles in the morning, get his treatment midday, then still have time and energy for golf in the afternoon.
"45 days later, I was free and clear" said Cranston-Whittaker.
With treatment as easy as this,Cranston-Whittaker says there is no reason why men shouldn't get screened.
"Men sort of like myself maybe, didn't want to face the one day, yet statistics say most men will have prostate cancer, so sooner or later you are going to have to deal with it," said Cranston-Whittaker. "It's not doomsday. You will be pleasantly surprised and it will save your life."
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