Getting a cancer diagnosis is frightening and life altering and it can be difficult to make sense of everything your doctor is telling you in those first few moments, those first few days, those first few months. From prognosis to treatment options, there’s a lot to take in, and it can all be very overwhelming. With so much fear, it is hard to know which is the best course to take when it comes to your treatment. But proton therapy treatment is becoming more and more popular among oncologists, as it has been proven effective at treating many types of cancer, and particularly at treating prostate cancer. Proton therapy is spreading around the world, with more than thirty particle centers – totaling more than eighty collective treatment rooms – under construction at the beginning of 2015 alone. In the years since, it has considered to grow.
Proton therapy for cancer is often used as an alternative to traditional radiation treatments. Because proton treatment works by targeting a very specific area of the patient’s body, it is able to directly target the area affected by cancer while sparing the other parts of the body a considerable amount of unnecessary radiation. In fact, the lungs typically receive around fifty percent less radiation than the doses of radiation they receive in traditional radiation treatments and, in most cases, the heart will receive none at all. Even the gastrointestinal system and structures benefit considerably, spared as much as sixty percent less radiation through proton therapy treatments than traditional radiation treatment for cancer. Proton therapy is also ideal because of the length of the treatments, as short as fifteen minutes and no longer than forty five minutes.
When it comes to rates of success, proton therapy has proved very effective, particularly in cases of treating prostate cancer. Treating prostate cancer with traditional radiation therapy methods was less than ideal, often leaving men impotent and without any sex drive or sex life after the completion of their treatment course. However, treating prostate cancer with proton therapy has had wildly different results, with more than ninety percent of prostate cancer patients who treated their cancer with proton therapy reporting a healthy sex life resuming after the completion of their proton therapy treatment. And the rates of recurrence are low when treating prostate cancer with proton therapy. In fact, nearly one hundred percent of men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer were still cancer free five years later and considered to be cured. Those diagnosed with intermediate risk prostate cancer were nearly ninety five percent free from cancer, and those with high risk still had high rates of recovery, with more than seventy percent of patients who sought out proton therapy as a method of treating prostate cancer still cancer free after five whole years.
Proton therapy can also be an effective treatment of breast cancer and brain cancer, as well as one of the most effective treatment options for prostate cancer.