In 2008, more than 745,000 men were diagnosed with some type of cancer. While the type of cancer a person develops will depend on genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors, the most prevalent types of cancer in men are prostate, lung and colorectal cancer.
All-too-common and life-threatening, cancer is a severe condition that kills more than 560,000 Americans annually. Given the prevalence and severity of cancer in men, effective and cutting-edge cancer treatment is more crucial and relevant than ever.
About Our Cancer Treatment Services
At Loma Linda University Health, our staff of experienced healthcare professionals and researchers is committed to:
- Administering the best possible patient-centered medical attention to men suffering from cancer
- Treating a variety of cancers that affect men, including but not limited to brain, blood, prostate, bladder, liver, colon, bone, skin and lung cancers
- Finding new cancer treatments for men through ongoing clinical trials and research
Types of Cancer Treatments at Loma Linda University Health
A man's precise course of cancer treatment will vary depending on the type and severity of his condition; however, in most cases, cancer treatment regimens at Loma Linda University Health involve some combination of:
- Proton radiation treatment – the practice of radiating precise, high-energy protons to a focused area of the body to kill malignant cells while minimizing the potential damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Loma Linda University Health is known as the international leader of proton radiation therapy for cancer treatment.
- Photon or x-ray radiation treatment
- Robotic and minimally invasive surgery – the use of robotic instruments to conduct a surgery that requires fewer incisions, perforations and invasive penetrations to the body than typical open surgery for that same procedure
- Traditional open surgery to remove tumors
Because Loma Linda University Health has a holistic approach to healthcare, our cancer treatment methods also focus on helping men and their families cope with the psychiatric and emotional damage resulting from their condition. To this end, Loma Linda University Health's cancer treatment may also include:
- Family therapy
- Private therapy
- Support groups
- Medication for depression or other mental/emotional afflictions
Cancer Services for Men
The Loma Linda University Cancer Center is dedicated to providing men and their families with high quality, cutting-edge cancer treatments that are among the best in the world. Made up of 11 Centers of Excellence, Loma Linda University Cancer Center is currently expanding its cancer center unit, adding a resource center, a symptom management clinic and two pavilions by the end of 2010.
Cancer Center Treatment Options
Cancer treatments at Loma Linda University Cancer Center focus on creating a customized team of various, integrated cancer specialists for each man's unique condition, situation, and needs. With a more comprehensive approach to cancer treatment, Loma Linda University Cancer Center offers a variety of traditional, alternative and complex cancer services, including:
- Chemotherapy – the use of chemicals and pharmaceuticals to kill malignant cells
- Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) – the practice of heating chemotherapy solutions and then circulating them in the abdomen to treat gastrointestinal cancers
- Open surgery – traditional invasive procedures that excise tumors from the body
- Proton radiation treatment – the use of targeted, high-energy protons to kill cancerous cells while causing minimal damage to surrounding, healthy tissues
- Robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries – the use of robotic instruments and processes during surgery to decrease the number and size of incisions made or invasive procedures used
Men also benefit from the Loma Linda University Center for Health Promotion’s lifestyle and wellness program that ensures men maintain a high quality of life while undergoing cancer treatment for prostate cancer.
Cancer Research Center at LLU
In addition to offering cancer treatment facilities, the Loma Linda University Cancer Center is also home to a world-renowned research program that regularly conducts clinical trials in an effort to find new cancer treatments and prevention methods for men.
Ongoing clinical trials are available for men with different types of cancer in a variety of stages.
As part of the Cancer Center, the Loma Linda University Cancer Center Biospecimen Laboratory is responsible for providing researchers with the specimens they need to study:
- The causes of different types of cancer
- Better methods of preventing cancer
- New cancer treatment options
Specimens collected and needed on a regular basis include blood, bone marrow, plasma, and tissues. The results and findings of specimen analyses will not be given to individual donors.
Proton Treatment Center
Also referred to as proton therapy, proton radiation treatment involves the use of focused, high-energy protons to kill malignant cells while minimizing damage to surrounding, healthy tissues, allowing for a speedier recovery and a reduced risk of experiencing side effects.
Treatments Offered at Our Proton Treatment Center
Loma Linda University Health is home to the U.S.'s first hospital-based proton therapy cancer treatment center. At the James M. Slater, M.D. Proton Treatment and Research Center, our expert staff is dedicated to providing men with cutting-edge proton radiation therapy in a compassionate, professional manner.
Any condition that can be treated with traditional radiation can also benefit from proton radiation therapy. Among the various conditions we can treat with proton therapy are:
- Prostate cancer
- Genitourinary cancers – malignancies affecting the genitals, reproductive organs and/or urinary tract
- Acoustic neuroma – non-cancerous tumors located in the inner ear that can cause deafness
- Brain cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pituitary gland tumors
- Retinoblastoma or cancer of the retina
- Spinal cord tumors and chordoma – a rare bone cancer that typically starts in the lower spine
Proton radiation treatment can also be effective in treating non-cancerous conditions that are localized in a particular area of the body; however, it is important to note that proton therapy is not indicated for the treatment of systemic conditions, such as leukemia, which affect the entire body and the way a specific system or organic process works.
How Proton Therapy Works
The goal of proton radiation treatment is to target proton beams at the tumor. Before this can happen, our expert staff:
- Takes a series of computed tomography (CT) scans
- Recreates an image of the tumor and surrounding tissues
- Maps out the angles at which proton beams will need to be projected at the body.
With this information, Loma Linda University Health's experienced team will then calculate the precise dose of proton radiation suitable for each individual man. Our extensive research and planning ensure that we are delivering optimal treatment with minimal side effects.
Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery
Loma Linda University Health was first in the San Bernardino and Riverside county area to offer robotic and minimally invasive surgery to treat cancer as well as a variety of other conditions that impair men's health. By leveraging the precision of robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgery and our expert surgical skill and experience, we continue to offer the highest level of leading-edge surgical cancer treatment for men, especially in treating prostate cancer with the da Vinci Prostatectomy Surgical Program.
What is Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery refers to surgical procedures that use fewer, smaller incisions than traditional open surgery for the same procedure, which can result in incisions up to 12 inches long. Depending on the precise nature of the procedure, minimally invasive surgery may also be referred to as:
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Endoscopic surgery
- Keyhole surgery
- Laparoscopic surgery
- Robotic Surgery
Robotic surgery is a distinct type of minimally invasive surgery, in which use of robotic instruments and mechanized processes significantly reduces the degree to which a surgery is invasive and requires a patient to be "opened" up. Despite the use of robotics in minimally invasive surgery, it is important to note that surgeons are still performing the procedure, as human precision and discretion is still an irreplaceable part of the surgical process.
Benefits of Robotic & Minimally Invasive Surgery
Robotic and other minimally invasive surgeries have remarkable benefits for both patients and doctors, as they can:
- Cut down on the time it takes to perform a surgical procedure
- Minimize blood loss, pain and the need for transfusions during the surgery
- Decrease the chances men will experience complications, such as infections, and post-operative side effects, such as scarring
- Result in shorter hospital stays
- Speed up men's healing and recovery time
In addition to cutting down on men's hospital bills, robotic and minimally invasive surgery makes the overall surgical experience far less traumatic to men – on both a physical and emotional level.