When it comes to cancer treatment therapy, there’s never an easy answer. With a number of existing treatments, you want to make sure that you or your loved one is getting the best care possible. Cancer proton therapy is one of many relatively new advanced cancer treatment options that is appealing to lots of patients. In order to make an informed decision regarding treatment, here are some frequently asked questions about proton therapy.
- What is cancer proton therapy?
Proton therapy is a non-invasive cancer treatment option that delivers radiation directly to the tumor. This option effectively targets the cancer cells without destroying other healthy cells in the process. The protons are delivered to the body in low energy doses, and there is no exit radiation released from the body, causing significantly fewer side effects (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) than other cancer treatments.
Is proton treatment more effective than other cancer treatments?
Of course, every body reacts to treatments differently. While proton therapy may work well for one person, it isn’t guaranteed for all. In practice, proton therapy is as effective as conventional radiation therapy, but has far fewer adverse side effects. In many cases, this is not only be best option, but potentially the only option.
How do I know if the treatment was successful?
Pinpointing the success rate of cancer treatments is hard to do. Depending on the tumor site and cancer type, proton therapy can take as short as one day or as long as several weeks. The length of treatments typically decrease over time while the dose of radiation increased. If the cancer does not return following five years following the treatment, it is considered to be successful.
How available is proton therapy?
Although proton therapy was first introduced in the 1950s, it was very limited in availability. In the 1990s it became more prevalent, but still was deemed a relatively new technology. Today, it has become commonplace and is used as a standard form of cancer treatment.
If you or a loved one haven’t had luck with traditional radiation, cancer proton therapy may be something worth looking into. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of this treatment and see if there is a facility near you that provides it.