A CANCER patient who was told “not to waste money” on a pioneering treatment abroad ignored the advice and it saved his life.

Robert Webb, 65, from Basildon, was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago following a routine blood test.

He sought the advice of three separate doctors in Southend, who each recommended a different treatment route, including brachytherapy, photon radiation, and surgery.

But unhappy with their recommendations and the potential risk factors involved, Robert chose proton therapy in Prague, Czech Republic.

He said: “I actually went to see my specialist for a problem with my neck.

“While I was there he suggested I have a PSA test which measures the level of prostate specific antigen in the blood.

“A high reading can sometimes indicate the presence of prostate cancer.”

Mr Webb’s reading came back at 10.1. The normal level for a man aged 60 to 69 is 4.

The recruitment consultant said: “A biopsy confirmed I had prostate cancer.

“A couple of friends had been through similar things so as soon as I heard the word cancer I was terrified. Anyone would be.”

The father-of-four underwent a number of scans and saw specialists at Southend Hospital, but was horrified when they explained the potential side effects of the treatment they proposed to give immediately because of the severity of his case.

Finally a radical prostatectomy was suggested which would have left Mr Webb with an 80 per cent chance of erectile dysfunction amongst other long term issues.

After researching alternatives online he came across the Proton Therapy Center in Prague.

This aims doses of radiotherapy at a tumour with pin-point precision.

As a result, surrounding healthy tissue is spared, lowering the risk of side effects down the line.

Now 12 months on, Mr Webb is fit and well with tests showing the cancer is in remission.

He said: “I’m pretty sure without this treatment I wouldn’t be here much longer, or I would have an appalling quality of life.

“My PSA level is now down to 0.02 and I can honestly say I feel fine, except for some minor effects of the hormone therapy which is now complete.”

Dr Jiri Kubes, medical director at the Proton Therapy Center, said: “Since opening in 2012 we have welcomed a number of men from the UK who are unable to access proton therapy where they live.

“Proton therapy has been shown to lower the risk of side effects associated with surgery and traditional radiotherapy, and it’s for this reason it’s becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of prostate cancer.”