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Allan Kuipers

Allan Kuipers

For Allan Kuipers, life came down to a routine physical.

As a 66-year-old real estate manager, Allan lived an active and happy life in Mill Creek, Washington. Born in Holland, and growing up in Toronto and San Diego, Allan’s life has taken him all over the globe. He ended up in Honolulu while serving in the U.S. Army where he met and later married his wife, Edna. With a passion for languages, Allan completed his M.A. in German and taught high school for nearly 10 years in Shoreline, Washington. He spent the last 30 years in the real estate industry.

As part of routine physicals, Allan’s doctor monitored his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) count. There had been consistent growth over the years, but it wasn’t until there was a dramatic two-point leap that the doctor became concerned. Allan followed doctor’s orders and saw an urologist. He had exams, blood checks and, finally, a biopsy.

Allan was diagnosed with prostate cancer on October 31, 2014.

“My life was changed that day,” Allan says matter-of-factly. “My entire world stopped, but time doesn't stop for you if you have cancer. That date, those numbers will always be etched in my mind.”

With no family history of prostate cancer, Allan evaluated options for the remainder of the year. He did all of his own research and weighed the pros and cons of each treatment. Proton therapy caught his attention because it wasn’t invasive and had minimal side effects. It was “pin-point therapy.” Treatments attacked the bad tissues, without damaging the good.

Allan started hormone therapy in January 2015, before his first proton treatment in March at SCCA Proton Therapy Center. Proton therapy became part of Allan’s everyday life, a stop on the way home after a full day of work. The average treatment only took 15-20 minutes out of his day.

“I was able to keep living my life, and that was an incredible experience,” Allan recalls. “I never changed my routine the entire nine weeks. I never felt like I was in a hospital, and I became a believer quickly. My life went on, and for that I will always be grateful.”

By May, Allan had completed 44 treatments. At his three month follow-up in August, his PSA count was down to .02.

Today, he is cancer free.

“When you get this verdict that you have cancer, it changes your universe,” Allan says. “I totally believe in proton therapy and the fact that you’re not damaging a lot of good tissue. Proton therapy is targeted, full impact and it ends at the tumor where the cancer is, which also struck me as pretty cool. It was very Star Wars technology.”

Today, Allan still enjoys his work in real estate and part-time hobbies with Edna. As a member of the Mill Creek Country Club, the only number Allan worries about today is his handicap: 18.

“On a good day I shoot in the mid-80s to mid-90s,” Allan chuckles.