Proton Therapy The Less Invasive Cancer Treatment Option


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Cancer is considered a worst nightmare for many, even if it’s treatable. A good prognosis might be promising, but there’s more to be concerned about regarding cancer than the disease itself. Most cancer treatments are rather invasive, and can cause harm while they heal. With that being said, many cancer patients are concerned about the long-term side effects of the treatment they choose. Luckily, people are no longer confined to a few different treatments with most cancers. While it’s important to listen to your doctor, you should also keep yourself informed about all possible treatment options. Proton therapy has, in recent years, been changing the way we treat a variety of different cancers. Proton therapy is often compared to traditional radiation treatment for cancer — though it’s important to note, perhaps, that proton therapy itself is a type of radiation treatment for cancer. People are often concerned about radiation treatment, associating it with invasiveness and long-term, negative consequences despite its effectiveness. Proton therapy has changed this completely, being one of the only advanced cancer treatment options that not only fights cancer, but takes into mind the possible negative side effects of treatment, and how to reduce them.

What Is The Difference Between Proton Therapy For Cancer And Other Treatment Options?

Proton beam radiation is quite different from the typical types of radiation therapy that we associate with cancer treatment. It’s a different kind of radiation, stopping at a specific point on the targeted tissue. On the other hand, conventional radiation treatment for cancer therapy continues beyond the tumor. A more targeted type of radiation, like proton therapy, means that less of the body is affected by radiation. And therefore, healthy tissue is less likely to be harmed. Using proton therapy for breast cancer as an example — this means that with there is no radiation to the heart, and there is 50% less radiation to the lungs compared to conventional radiation treatment for cancer. In the past, people relied on conventional radiation treatment because they felt as if they didn’t have any other options — or didn’t realize that there were any other options. Now, proton therapy is more available than ever. Back in the beginning of 2015, there were over 30 particle therapy centers present, with 80 more in construction worldwide. Talk to your doctor about proton therapy — though it isn’t an option for every cancer patient, it may be the right one for your or a loved one.

What Are The Benefits Of Proton Therapy?

So now that we know what proton therapy is, what are the benefits of choosing it over other types of cancer treatments? Studies have revealed that proton therapy can certainly help those who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer, though highly treatable if caught early, is known to come with a number of treatment-related side effects, namely impotence. The targeted approach of proton therapy can help patients get better while still having the treatment that they need. 94% of prostate cancer patients who received proton therapy reported remaining sexually active after treatment. This is hugely important, as the fact is that while you may be physically healthy after being treated for cancer, you want to be mentally healthy as well. Losing function of any kind following cancer treatment can be devastating for people, and if it can be avoided it should be. Compared to x-rays, proton therapy also reduces the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures, meaning that there will be fewer side effects to your overall system.

Is Proton Therapy Really Effective?

Ultimately, what’s most important is getting effective treatment for cancer. Luckily, research has shown that 99% of patients with low-risk prostate cancer, 94% of patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer, and 74% of patients with high-risk prostate cancer have shown no signs of recurrence five years after proton therapy. The treatment does work, and again, while you should consult your doctor, it could be the right option for you.

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