For many patients who have cancer, radiation can be a very valuable part of their treatment program. Over the years, the way in which radiation is delivered to cancer patients has dramatically improved. This is due to a variety of factors, but one of the reasons is the use of what is called proton therapy for cancer.
Proton treatment is a very specifically targeted radiation treatment that has had some very promising and even amazing results. Proton therapy is directed at a very specific point in the targeted tissue and is designed to stop there. The conventional radiation that has been done in the past continues beyond the tumor itself, creating many unwanted side effects. The result of being able to target tissue so specifically means that there is, on average, no radiation that gets to the heart and 50% less radiation leakage to the lungs when compared to conventional radiation.
For breast cancer treatment, this is a major breakthrough. Patients who have had to go through radiation therapy for their breast cancer treatment have had to endure trouble that has sprung up from the treatment itself. Heart issues, damage to internal areas, and other mishaps have often been the results during treatment for breast cancer and treatments for cancer in general.
Proton therapy is not just a major breakthrough for breast cancer treatment; it is also a major breakthrough for treating prostate cancer. Because proton therapy takes such a targeted approach, there have been several studies that have shown prostate cancer patients now have a very significantly reduced risk of impotence. Conventional radiation therapy for prostate cancer could often result in impotence but with such a targeted burst of treatment to only the affected areas, 94% of men have reported that they were able to remain sexually active after treatment.
Both breast cancer treatment and prostate cancer treatment have seen such fantastic results with this new form of radiation. The treatment itself is not as evasive as conventional treatment has been. Because the approach is to target the affected area, the design of the delivery system is very specific to the particular tissues that are diseased.
Every patient is going to be different when it comes to the treatment plan they need, of course. But, in general, a treatment session can last anywhere from about 15 to 45 minutes at a time. The actual time it takes to deliver the protons to the tumor, though, is usually no longer than two minutes.
No one takes the news that they have cancer as good news. However, it wasn’t too many years ago when that kind of news was a death sentence. That is no longer the case in our new age of modern medicine and technology. With scanning equipment and early detection methods, doctors are able to find cancer and target the affected areas for treatment. They can get very specific with where the cancer is and how much radiation it will take to rid the affected areas of the poison. With proton therapy, they can rid the body of poisonous cancer without giving it more poison as a result.
If you or someone you know receives the very difficult diagnosis of cancer, whether it be breast cancer, prostate cancer, or another form of the disease, ask you doctor about proton therapy. With all of the new ways to fight cancer, proton therapy is proving to be not only amazingly effective but also a great example of the cure not having to be worse than the disease.