Proton therapy is being used to treat a variety of cancers. Unlike traditional radiation, proton cancer treatments are able to specifically target a tumor. Given this, the tissue and organs surrounding the tumor aren’t subjected to the same level of radiation.
When compared with conventional radiation, someone receiving proton therapy for breast cancer will receive 50% less radiation to their lungs. Another benefit of proton treatment is that the heart will rarely be exposed to any radiation. The targeted approach of proton therapy makes a significant difference in reducing damage to the surrounding tissues as well.
Proton therapy for prostate cancer has also demonstrated positive results. After following up with patients after five years, researchers discovered that most of them didn’t have any signs of their cancer returning. Given the various levels of risk, the following percentages represent the non-occurrence of cancer reported by the researchers:
- Low-risk prostate cancer: 99%
- Intermediate-risk prostate cancer: 94%
- High-risk prostate cancer: 74%
Furthermore, studies have shown that when prostate cancer patients receive proton therapy, they are less likely to experience impotence. The results of these studies found that 94% of the men reported they continued to be sexually active following treatment. When patients have received conventional treatments, they were more likely to experience impotence, however.
It’s also important to note that less radiation affects the gastrointestinal structures with proton therapy. When compared to X-rays, these is approximately 59% less radiation that affects these structures. This is another benefit of choosing this type of radiation over conventional methods.
Proton therapy sessions are also shorter than conventional treatments. Each proton cancer treatment session usually lasts between 15 to 45 minutes. The time it takes to actually deliver the protons to a tumor, however, is an average of one to two minutes. The additional time is needed to set up the delivery system.
Given the positive results demonstrated by this method of cancer treatment, more particle therapy centers are being built throughout the world. As of the beginning of 2015, for example, over 30 of these centers were being constructed. These centers have approximately 80 treatment rooms to accommodate patients. If you are searching for treatment options for prostate cancer or another type of cancer, you can find out more information by contacting one of these proton therapy centers.