Ten Members of Newly Formed Support Group Share Research, Experiences and Successes
"Brotherhood" of Prostate Cancer Patients Celebrate Completion of Proton Therapy Treatment at Procure New Jersey
<0> BlissHealthMelanie Sollid-Penton, 646-386-2923 </0>
Ten local prostate cancer patients celebrated completion of proton therapy treatment at ProCure's Somerset facility in June. Celebrating the milestone with family members and friends, the patients recognized the value of their newly formed support group, The Brotherhood of the Blue Bottle. The group is named for the bottles ProCure distributes to prostate patients to ensure they drink the necessary amount of water prior to proton therapy treatment. Proton therapy delivers 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.
Fellow "brothers" recognize Morganville, N.J. resident George Menendez as their founding member. Menendez recalls how the men in treatment were drawn to each other as they experienced similar trials and awkward moments in battling cancer. He was moved by the friendships he developed with fellow patients and their shared experiences to give the group its official name and design "brotherhood" t-shirts with the help of his wife, a textiles designer.
"We designed the shirts because we were inspired by the progress of our treatment and our shared experiences," Menendez said. "We're all gentlemen and fighters – knights, all battling a common enemy in prostate cancer. If the 'brotherhood' and this positive environment helped a couple of people feel better or improve their situation, even just by a little bit, that's amazing."
Many BBB members credit the close bond with fellow cancer fighters as a major confidence and morale booster during the course of their treatments.
"We've come together here through sharing our experience," Sparta-based patient, Matt Iacobazzo said. "We are constantly asking each other questions about our treatments – 'What happened to you?', 'How do you feel?', 'Are you having trouble with this?' It has been immensely helpful to identify with these guys."
Another common bond among the brotherhood was the thorough research each man and his family performed in order to identify the best treatment option for their diagnoses.
"Ninety-nine percent of my fellow graduates did their homework," Piscataway resident Tom Patania said. "Each one of us performed extensive personal research to arrive at proton therapy as our chosen treatment option. Everyone wanted the same thing: the least invasive treatment option with minimal side effects."
The BBB has not only bonded over shared tribulations, but also over shared results. Each patient who has had his follow up appointment has experienced lower PSA levels compared to his pre-treatment readings.
"I am fairly ecstatic in regards to my PSA rating," Iacobazzo said. "It has been reduced by 75 percent, which itself is great news, but the better news is that my uncontrolled cell growth has been interrupted so that the cells' ability to replicate has been altered; they can no longer metastasize and spread. Armed with this positive news I can, in good conscience, recommend and comment favorably on ProCure and results of this groundbreaking therapy."
In addition to Menendez, Iacobazzo and Patania, Samuel Bonhomme, Bob Jones, Victor Lawson, Tom Tiberi comprise the majority of the BBB. Eric Andersen, of North Caldwell, N.J. was present for his treatment and to support his graduating brothers. Andersen noted that the founding BBB members' presence at ProCure was immensely encouraging during his initial treatments.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in U.S. men regardless of race or ethnicity. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in New Jersey. It's estimated that approximately 14,000 New Jersey residents and approximately 32,000 New York residents are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
Proton therapy offers an unmatched combination of power and precision. Studies have shown proton therapy to be effective in treating many types of tumors in sensitive areas of the body, including brain, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, head and neck, lung and prostate as well as sarcomas and many pediatric cancers.
For more information about proton therapy at ProCure Proton Therapy, visit or call 1-732-204-7398.
About ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc.
ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc. is a privately held health care company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with cancer by increasing access to proton therapy. The company was founded in 2005 in Bloomington, Ind., and is the first to develop a network of proton therapy centers in cities across the United States. The ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City opened in July 2009, the CDH Proton Center, A ProCure Center, located in Warrenville, Ill., opened in October 2010 and the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, N.J., opened in March 2012. ProCure's fourth center is under construction in Seattle, Wash. (opening 2013) and others are in development. ProCure provides management leadership and a comprehensive approach for the design, construction, financing, staffing, training and day-to-day operations of proton therapy centers. ProCure's solution reduces the time, cost and effort necessary to build and operate a facility. ProCure is advancing proton therapy through innovation and improvements in technology, and by providing training at the world's only educational facility specializing in proton therapy. For more information, visit .