Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment Safer Treatments, Safer Options and Fewer Side Effects

Non-invasive cancer treatment has shown promise over the years with higher success rates and more than 50% less radiation. Almost 75% of those treated with proton therapy for high-risk prostate cancer showed no signs of it recurring five years after treatment. This makes proton therapy a treatment that is growing more popular with promises for patients. Although this treatment is shown to be less invasive and better for surrounding organs, that doesn’t mean that it comes with no side effects though. Read below to familiarize yourself with the possible side effects of this non-invasive cancer treatment.

What is it?

Non-invasive cancer treatments such as proton therapy is a form of radiation. Proton treatment sort of piggy backs off of traditional radiation therapy used as a treatment for cancer. This type of treatment involves radiation that uses the energy from positively charged protons. This type of treatment is able to be controlled meaning that treatment is better tailored to the actual tumor rather than the healthy tissues surrounding it. This means less side effects for patients undergoing non-invasive cancer treatment.

What Types of Cancer can be Treated?

Proton radiation therapy can be used to treat a variety of cancers. Sometimes Proton beam radiation will be used in conjunction with other treatments, and other times proton therapy for cancer will be the only treatment used. This non-invasive cancer treatment can be used to treat those suffering from brain tumors or cancer affecting the eye, head, neck, liver, lung and prostate. Cancer affecting the pituitary glands, spine and back and skill can be successfully treated with this treatment. Children who are suffering from cancer can also benefit from this type of treatment, which is exciting news considering how much safer it is with fewer side effects.

Most Likely Side Effects

As with any procedure, no matter how non-invasive it is, there are certain risks associated with it. Non-invasive cancer treatment is no different. The side effects are far less than those experienced with typical cancer treatments. Side effects that most experience are temporary hair loss, fatigue and reactions on the skin from where the procedure was performed. Skin around the treatment area can experience side effects such as redness, excessive dryness, peeling or blistering. Other side effects will depend on areas being treated and the amount of radiation received.

Other Side Effects

Some individuals will experience other short term side effects depending on areas being treated and the amount of radiation that is being used to treat the condition. These can include difficulty swallowing and problems eating. Digestion issues coupled with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are also common depending on where the treatment is targeted at. Headaches as well as soreness, tenderness and swelling in or around the treatment area may be present. Some people experience problems with their urine or bladders during treatment as well. While these side effects have been experienced it is important to remember that they are usually temporary and are dependent on the area being treated and much radiation is used.

Are There Long Term Side Effects

Others have experienced side effects which occur after treatment. These side effects can occur months or even years after treatment and have most commonly been permanent. It is important to note that these side effects are rare, but have still been experienced. Changes to the part of the body being treated have been noticed, most specifically the brain, spinal cord, lungs, kidneys and the colon. Some have experienced infertility issues after treatment. Some have noticed changes to their joints once treatment was complete. Secondary cancer is another rare side effect some have experienced.

Every treatment comes with associated side effects, so it is important to research all possible side effects to work with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment. None of the information contained here is meant to be medical advice or replace your doctor. It is for informational purposes only, therefore it’s important to discuss any and all concerns with your doctor. Together your team of doctors and yourself can determine the best course of treatment.

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