There are a variety of advanced cancer treatment options currently available. One of these is proton therapy for cancer, which is a targeted form of radiation. Proton therapy is being used to treat these and other forms of cancer:
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Head cancer
- Neck cancer
- Prostrate cancer
One of the many benefits of this type of non-invasive cancer treatment is that because it targets specific areas, it doesn’t continue beyond the tumor in the way that conventional radiation does. This is significant because with treating breast cancer, for example, proton radiation rarely reaches the heart. Furthermore, there is an average of 50% less radiation reaching the lungs.
It has been determined that approximately 60% less radiation reaches the normal tissue surrounding tumors with proton radiation for cancer treatments. This lowers the risk of healthy tissue being damaged by the radiation.
Research has also shown that the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures is reduced by nearly 59% with proton therapy for cancer. This was determined when comparing the radiation emitted by X-rays with that of proton radiation therapy.
Proton therapy usually begins approximately four-to-six weeks following surgery or chemotherapy. Each session tends to last for 15-to-45 minutes, and the treatments are administered over a six-week period. The protons are delivered to the tumor for approximately one-to-two minutes during these treatment sessions.
There have been significant results with proton therapy for the treatment of prostrate cancer. Recent research has shown that after five-year follow-up appointments, there was no recurrence of the cancer:
- Low-risk: 99%
- Intermediate: 94%
- High-risk: 74%
Studies have also shown that because of proton therapy’s targeted approach, 94% of the participants had a reduced risk of impotence. Furthermore, the participants within this study reported that they were able to continue being sexually active after their proton therapy treatments.
As of early 2015, there were over 30 particle therapy centers available, and more are being constructed on a world-wide basis. Currently, over 31,000 people in the United States have received proton therapy for cancer. Over 64,000 have received these treatments across the globe.
To find out more information on the benefits of proton therapy for cancer, an important first step is to contact a cancer treatment center. At that time, treatment options can be discussed.