EVENT DATE: Jan 18, 2015
Alicia Lau wrote -
Dear Family and Friends:
Happy New Year!
As some of you may know, I will be running the Chevron marathon in Houston on January 18th, 2015. I am very excited (and nervous!) about participating in this event because this will be my first marathon. I’ve dedicated a lot of time to training over the last few months, and it has made me think more about wanting to run for a cause. My dad, Kenneth Lau, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. He was successfully treated with proton therapy treatment and thankfully has been doing well ever since. In honor of my dad, I have decided to fundraise for research in proton therapy treatment.
Prostate cancer affects 1 in 7 men, and is the most common non-skin cancer in the US. External beam radiation therapy is most commonly used to treat localized prostate cancer. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), and proton beam radiation therapy (PBT) are different types of external radiation therapy. IMRT and SBRT both use x-ray (photons) beams while proton therapy uses proton beams. When x-ray beams are used to target cancer tissue, adjacent non-cancerous tissue can also be damaged. This damage can cause long-term side effects such as rectal bleeding, bowel incontinence, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.
In contrast, proton beams cause minimal damage or radiation exposure to adjacent non-target organs. Another advantage of proton therapy is that it allows for a higher radiation dose to reach the target tissue. Proton therapy has not only successfully treated prostate cancer but it has also been used to treat other types of cancer including: brain tumors, ocular and orbital tumors, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Unfortunately, proton therapy treatment is only offered in a limited number of facilities.
When my dad went through proton therapy treatment, he said the procedure was painless and he had a very good overall experience. As this innovative technology seems to have very promising potential, I’d like to take the opportunity to fundraise for a cause that affected my dad and our family in a positive way. Loma Linda Medical Center is where my dad was treated and all proceeds donated through my fundraising website will specifically go towards proton therapy research. If you would like to make a donation of any size, it would be greatly appreciated! All contributions are also tax deductible.
Thank you so much!