Cancer treatment therapy, Prostate cancer options, Proton cancer treatment

Proton Therapy for Cancer

Cancer still stands as one of the great challenges of the medical field, and existing methods for fighting it exist, with advanced cancer treatments including X-ray radiation treatment for cancer and chemotherapy, though the side effects of these methods are well known. Now, however, a new non-invasive cancer treatment is increasingly available, and that is proton therapy for cancer and tumors. Just what is this new non-invasive cancer treatment, exactly, and what are the advantages of such procedures as proton therapy for head and neck cancer or a breast cancer cure using protons?

The Basics of Proton Therapy
Proton radiation therapy is a new non-invasive cancer treatment that is gaining in popularity due to its precise methods and its minimal side effects. The core of the procedure is using a machine called a synchrotron, which will excite protons inside it and charge them with energy, then issue them in a thin, controlled beam through a nozzle. This beam of charged protons will strike the patient and destroy cancer cells and tumors on contact, with very little, if any, radiation striking the surrounding flesh or any tissues behind the tumor being targeted. This means minimal collateral damage or side effects for the patient, and the procedure to use proton therapy is relatively fast and simple.

What are some other perks to this non-invasive cancer treatment method? The proton beam does very little, if any, damage to parts of the body aside from the tumor and cancer cells, which can be a relief for patients with prostate cancer or breast cancer, and patients will not want their reproductive health harmed by cancer treatment if it can be helped. Men who get proton therapy treatment for prostate cancer, for example, have reported positive results at a very high rate. Researchers have found that 99%, 94%, and 79% of men who had proton therapy for low, moderate, and high risk prostate cancer, respectively, reported no return of their cancer a few years later, and similarly, the report very few cases of their reproductive health being harmed by this treatment. For women getting breast cancer treatment with proton therapy, the heart is exposed to, at most, half the energy that it would as compared to regular X-ray radiation therapy, improving health and cutting down on the risks of the procedure.

For a patient seeking this form of non-invasive cancer treatment, they will go through several steps in repeated sessions until the cancer has been destroyed. First, the patient will have his or her X-rays taken to see the size, shape, and location of the tumor so that doctors know what they are dealing with. The patient will then be escorted into a particular room and will either lay down or sit in a chair, depending on the tumor’s location, and the synchrotron will be close by. The doctors will then move into a nearby room and monitor everything from there, and they can speak with the patient over an intercom back and forth for the patient’s comfort and safety. Now, the doctors can remotely operate the synchrotron and use it in the process of destroying cancer cells with the proton beam, and they can make small corrections as they go. The patient, meanwhile, is urged to stay as still as possible so that the beam does not go anywhere it is not meant to.

Over the course of a few sessions, where the tumor’s size and shape is tracked every time, the synchrotron will destroy the tumor and the patient will be finished with the operation. The side effects of a synchrotron are minimal compared to those of regular cancer therapy methods. Patients may expect blistering on the skin, redness, itchy or dry skin, or other mild irritation as a result of exposure to the beam. Currently, a number of facilities for this method of non-invasive cancer treatment are being built around the world, and this new technology may grow and expand as time passes, and become more affordable for cancer patients who need it. Not every known type of cancer can be treated with this method, but many can, and a cancer patient may ask a specialist if they can get proton therapy done.

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