The Center's 1000th Patient Details His Treatment Experience

“Dr. Mangona was hands down the best aspect of this entire experience. He walked me through all my scans in great detail, explained how everything worked and gave me a high level of confidence walking into my first appointment. I still had plenty of fears – who wouldn’t? – but he made the whole process that much better.”
Bruce Chamberlin
Plasmacytoma Survivor

Sixty-eight-year-old Duncanville retiree Bruce Chamberlin is no cancer researcher. But in today’s Internet-enabled world, he was able to search for information about options for treating the very rare form of cancer that he had. Based on that research, he found his way to a successful treatment: proton therapy.

Before physicians could determine how to best treat the tumor, they had to overcome the challenge of performing a biopsy in a particularly hard-to-access location.

“The tumor is right where my spinal column enters my skull, so getting a biopsy is extremely difficult,” Bruce said. “Before a biopsy could even be performed, the tumor started pressing on my spinal column causing excruciating pain and landing me in the hospital for over a week.”

Bruce’s neurosurgeon ultimately found an ear specialist to perform the biopsy by drilling a small hole through a bone behind Bruce’s ear to reach the mass. Shortly after the procedure was performed, Bruce was diagnosed with plasmacytoma – a rare disorder in which tumors arise from abnormal plasma cells that grow within the bones. With the diagnosis in hand, Bruce and his wife began an online investigation of various treatment options. They discovered proton therapy and learned that it is specifically designed to deliver extremely precise radiation, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

“We had had a lot of time to research our options and even though we had never heard of it before, we felt confident that proton therapy was the best choice. And we were so fortunate that there was a center nearby.”

Bruce contacted Texas Center for Proton Therapy and set up a consult with Dr. Victor Mangona to learn more about his treatment options.

“Dr. Mangona was hands down the best aspect of this entire experience. He walked me through all my scans in great detail, explained how everything worked and gave me a high level of confidence walking into my first appointment. I still had plenty of fears – who wouldn’t? – but he made the whole process that much better.”

Bruce received treatment every weekday for 25 sessions, starting in late April and finishing late May 2018. His wife was by his side for every appointment and has been his support system throughout the journey.

“I’m feeling really great. Even though I haven’t picked up a golf club since this whole process started, I’ve remained physically active and have experienced minimal side effects.”

As Bruce looks forward to being fully recuperated and getting back on the golf course, he says that he’s thankful they caught the tumor when they did and that he had access to proton therapy close to home.

“Receiving this treatment has been a really positive experience for me. If Texas Center for Proton Therapy didn’t exist, we probably would have driven really far to get access to this advanced treatment, which would have been tough. I see other patients driving in from out of state and I’m so glad we had an option close to home. It’s made a world of difference.”

Since 2015, Texas Center for Proton Therapy has given patients like Bruce access to this leading-edge form of radiation treatment. Bruce was the center’s 1,000th patient, marking a major milestone for the center and for cancer care in North Texas.

Texas Center for Proton Therapy is ready to help you fight cancer with one of the nation’s most advanced cancer-fighting technologies.

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