Lloyd Bantleman got his life back for the price of a family car. Now the prostate cancer survivor has set up a website to stop other patients going through what he endured at the hands of the NHS.
And, on World Cancer Day, the Preston-based businessman is urging men not gamble their future on the treatment being offered in the UK.
“I wasted six months before I came across proton beam therapy – and it saved my life,” said Lloyd.
“The NHS never told me about it because it isn’t offered to prostate cancer patients in the UK.
“British men get a raw deal when it comes to receiving 21st century cancer treatment. Even the new proton centres being planned to open in the UK in 2017 will not treat this very common male cancer.”
Lloyd, 56, boss of marketing firm DeepRed55, flew to Prague for a three-week course of therapy from the same pioneering surgeons who treated youngster Ashya King.
It was only after reading the story of how Ashya’s parents controversially discharged him from hospital in Southampton and took him to the Czech Republic that Lloyd discovered proton beam treatment.
“I had to go private and it cost me around £16,000,” he said. “That’s the price of a new car and it was worth every penny. Back in the UK I was only being offered surgery and radiotherapy.
“That could have left me with things like bladder and bowel problems and erectile disfunction. Proton beam therapy is brilliant. It’s a pencil beam which can be targeted precisely to the area where it is needed. I am absolutely fine and so glad I had it done.”
The website CompareCancerTreatment.co.uk gives independent, impartial information on cancer treatments.
In addition Lloyd is happy to be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “These decisions are medical judgements which we continue to delegate to top cancer specialists in their field.
“As well as referring patients to international centres of excellence where the latest medical research suggests that would benefit them, together with the Department of Health we are also now funding the development of two world class PBT centres.”