Four years cancer-free from proton therapy

Sparta resident now ambassador for the treatment


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Photos



  • Matt Iacobazzo, left, with four other members of the BBB




  • Iacobazzo is cancer-free for four years




  • ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ




  • The proton gantry and a patient undergoing treatment




BY ROSE SGARLATO

- Four years ago, Sparta resident Matt Iacobazzo was a pioneer having completed proton therapy treatment for his prostate cancer.

Back then he sat down with the Sparta Independent and spoke about his decision to consider proton therapy to treat his cancer vs. traditional radiation treatment. His goal was to encourage other men to consider this newer form of treatment.

Today Iacobazzo is cancer-free four years later and remains grateful to ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, NJ where he had his treatment.

Proton therapy is a less invasive form of radiation. It is defined as “delivering a high dose of cancer-stopping energy while emitting up to 80 percent less radiation to healthy tissue and minimizing side effects associated with standard radiation.”

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States, and about 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed at some point in his lifetime.

ProCure Proton Therapy Center opened in March of 2012 as the 10th proton therapy treatment center in the United States where Iacobazzo and two other men became the first group of patients and formed a group known as the Brotherhood of the Blue Bottle or BBB.

According to ProCure, the triumvirate named themselves after the water in a blue bottle that they were required to drink before each proton therapy session to stabilize the prostate. And a bond among the men formed quickly during their sessions.

Iacobazzo reflected positively about his experience there and the exchange among the BBB members at the ProCure Center:

“Men can be a bit more closed off when it comes to talking about our medical issues," he said. "It’s important for us to create a space where we can speak openly about things like prostate health, so that we can get the help we need.”

All three men remain cancer free over four years later and are now become ProCure patient ambassadors for both proton therapy and open discourse about men’s health.

“This philosophy was integral to the Brotherhood: we were a group that was talking about everything when it came to prostate cancer – fears about side effects, experiences with urologists, the impact of cancer on our family lives and careers,” Iacobazzo said. “Nothing was off the table with our group.”

According to a release from the center, proton therapy has been used for over 20 years to treat prostate cancer with recent studies proving its safety and ability to eliminate excess radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.

“Many men facing prostate cancer are concerned about short- and long-term side effects stemming from prostate cancer treatment; proton therapy offers a path that can potentially reduce that risk,” explains Dr. Henry Tsai, a radiation oncologist at ProCure.

Iacobazzo continues his journey of inspiring other men to consider this form of treatment:

“When I met with the ProCure team, what they were talking about just made sense. It was the best technology, and the procedure was noninvasive,” he said. “I had a holistic experience there – they treat your mind, body and soul.”

For more information on treatment options for prostate cancer, call 1-877-967-7628 or visit www.procure.com/nj. ProCure N.J. is the only proton therapy center in the metro NY/NJ area equipped with pencil beam scanning (PBS), the most advanced proton therapy technology available today.






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