Marlin Sweitzer of Loganville, PA, is a survivor – he survived lymphoma a few years ago and open heart surgery in 2016. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was again ready to fight.
His physician, Ori Boker Shokek, MD of WellSpan Radiation Oncology and the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC), met with Marlin to discuss his options. Traditional radiation therapy was not recommended because he received radiation for lymphoma in his thigh a few years ago, and the body’s healthy cells can only tolerate a limited amount of radiation to the same area over a lifetime.
However, proton therapy is different. Proton therapy offers precise tumor targeting, which means that physicians can treat tumors more aggressively, with higher doses of radiation, without higher risk.
“Marlin was an excellent candidate for proton therapy,” Dr. Shokek says. “Since his thigh had already undergone radiation, it was critical to use proton therapy for his treatment because it limited the amount of radiation to his previously exposed healthy tissues.”
In the summer of 2017, Marlin became a patient at MPTC. He and his wife decided to drive about an hour each way for his appointments, and they were back home in Pennsylvania each day by noon. He tolerated the treatment well and was able to enjoy his summer by taking bike rides and bringing his family to their vacation home on Jones Mountain.
“It was nice to come to the center and have the complimentary valet drivers take care of our car, so we never had to worry about parking in the city,” Marlin says.
Marlin celebrated his last day of treatment with his wife, daughter and grandchildren in early August 2017. He continues to enjoy his retirement by playing ping pong, helping out at his church and spending time with family.