What is Proton Therapy?
Proton Therapy is a type of external beam radiotherapy using ionizing radiation. The accelerator is used to target your tumor with a beam of protons. This damages the DNA of your cancer cells, ultimately causing their death or interfering with their ability to replicate.
Cancer cells are vulnerable to attacks on DNA because of their high rate of division and their reduced abilities to repair DNA damage.
Currently, studies are ongoing comparing proton therapy to other types of radiation therapy. Early prognosis is patients are able to receive high-dose treatments with very few side effects. The downside is the treatment is far more expensive than traditional radiation.
A great resource would be The National Association for Proton Therapy. The association’s website is full of information to educate you on weighing the pros and cons of standard radiation vs. Proton Therapy.
Whichever you and your family decide on- think positive, be positive and stay positive!
Facts About Proton Therapy
Proton Therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment available today. It destroys the primary tumor site and leaves the surrounding tissue and organs healthy, intact and unharmed.
- It is non-invasive and painless. It maintains a patient’s quality-of-life during treatment process as an outpatient. Patients continue with normal activities during treatment. Play golf, tennis, swim, walk, run, and workout in a gym, or go on a “radiation vacation.”
- It avoids the usual side effects of standard x-ray radiation. It has a minimum to no side effects with protons. Proton Therapy is highly effective treatment for wide range of localized tumors in head and neck area, lung, prostate, bladder, spinal cord, gastro malignancies,
and ocular tumors, among others.
- The National Association of Proton Therapy is working on treating breast cancer with small protocols utilizing a new scanning technique. Women with breast cancer can avoid damage to lungs and surrounding breast tissue.
- Protons can be used in conjunction with other cancer treatment modalities such as chemotherapy.
- Treatment time can take from one day for certain conditions or up to eight weeks (prostate cancer) depending on tumor sites.
- Highly preferred radiation treatment modality option for pediatric cases because children are susceptible to injury from standard x-ray radiation as their tissues and organs are growing rapidly. Children don’t have to be subjected to needless exposure from damaging radiation.
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