Hornchurch bus driver returned to work days after pioneering cancer treatment
- Credit: Archant
A Hornchurch bus driver who spent £20,000 on pioneering prostate cancer treatment in the Czech Republis says he returned to work the following day.
Robert Ducan, 64, from Carnforth Gardens underwent a 10-day course of proton beam therapy in May after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
For Robert, the only warning sign that he had prostate cancer was a more frequent urge to visit the bathroom.
He was given a PSA test which measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. A high reading can indicate the presence of cancerous cells.
“To start with my PSA was 6.1 but before long it had gone up to 8.1,” said Robert.
You may also want to watch:
“I was referred to Queen’s Hospital in Romford and by then it was up to 13.1.
“I went to see a specialist and they said they wanted to cut out my prostate completely.”
- 1 Letters: Breaking bad news, boundary changes, lockdown and parking
- 2 Watch police fine seven in Romford for watching TV together
- 3 British Gas engineers burn contracts at Havering Town Hall in defiance of 'sign or be fired'
- 4 Mick Norcross, The Only Way Is Essex star, has died aged 57
- 5 NHS nurse assaulted at east London hospital
- 6 Covid deaths increase at Queen's and King George hospitals this week
- 7 From the town hall: The fight against Covid-19 continues in Havering
- 8 Queen's and King George hospitals appeal for volunteers to support end of life patients
- 9 Council report reveals concern that borough's Covid vaccination drive may be held back
- 10 Heritage: How greyhound enthusiast's 1960s betting coup failed
Concerned about the risks the Hornchurch bus driver looked for alternatives, including Chinese therapy which involved acupuncture.
He found out about the case of Ashya King who was five-years-old when his parents took him to Prague for proton therapy. He is now cancer free.
After travelling to Prague for blood tests and a MRI scan, Robert eventually underwent five fractions of treatment across 10 days.
The treatment involves using positively charged particles to target cancer cells with pencil point precision.
“You hear people in England talking about chemotherapy and other cancer treatments having a really tough, gruelling time, so that’s sort of what you expect.
“But I actually found proton therapy to be quite relaxing. It didn’t feel like I was having cancer treatment at all.
“There was no pain whatsoever and I would have my treatments in the morning and then I would spend my afternoons exploring Prague.
“I couldn’t believe how painless it was.”
Robert’s PSA level is now down to 0.1 which he expects rise slightly after hormone treatment finishes but says that he feels, “much better”.
“Being a bus driver is not like sitting at a desk, you can’t just nip to the toilet when you need to.
“I’ve now found a doctor who knows and understands proton therapy and I’ve just had my one year anniversary since treatment.”