Proton therapy is a type of radiation treatment. These treatments will end once they reach a specific point within the cancerous tissue. However, traditional radiation continues to emit radiation past the cancerous areas. There are many advantages of proton treatment which means it can either be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
One major advantage of proton treatments is that they are not invasive. In many cases, a proton cancer treatment is most often an outpatient procedure. These types of procedures mean that the patient will not have to stay overnight within a hospital. In most cases, patients receiving proton beam radiation also will not need to worry about having a driver to take them home.
Radiation therapy involving protons is far less damaging than conventional radiation. Using conventional methods, breast cancer sufferers could have radioactive materials spread to surrounding areas, including the heart. However, when using proton therapy for cancer, breast cancer patients will have no radiation to the heart and half the radiation going to the lungs. In addition, proton therapy emits 59 percent less radiation when compared to traditional x-rays.
There will variables concerning the number and duration of proton radiation therapy you might need. One variable is the stage of cancer a patient currently has. In most cases, proton therapy will start four to six weeks after chemo. The typical duration of proton radiation therapy will be about six weeks. Most single proton treatment sessions will last about 30 to 45 minutes. However, appointment times can vary based on the area that is in need of proton treatment. Larger cancerous areas may require longer appointment times.
In summary, proton treatment is often used for many reasons. This form of therapy is not invasive and requires no surgery. Most patients undergoing proton treatments are surprised that this is an outpatient procedure. Not having to call a driver afterwards makes proton therapy very popular. A proton treatment is often needed when tumors are close to other body parts. In many cases, the proximity of a tumor relative to important areas of the body is the sole reason for proton therapy to be used.