Proton Radiation is a Growing Option in Non-Invasive Cancer Treatment
When facing a cancer diagnosis, you may feel overwhelmed by the treatment options and the opinions being provided. It is already a scary moment in your life and then you are expected to make enormous decisions that will directly impact the rest of your life. Learning about non-invasive cancer treatment options will give you the comfort of knowing all your options.
Knowing what your options are and the advantages and disadvantages of each option is the best way to make an informed decision. Most people assume their only options are surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. However, with growing research in the medical field, new options have become available to many cancer patients.
One new treatment option is called proton therapy, which is a form of radiation. While a form of radiation, it differs from traditional radiation in that it is more focused and will stop at a specific point in the targeted tissue. This means the patient is getting the cancer-killing benefits of radiation without much of the negative consequences of radiation on healthy cells.
In breast cancer, for example, this means that the heart will not be exposed to the radiation and the lungs will be exposed to 50% less radiation with proton therapy compared to tradition radiation. This is significantly better for the overall health of the patient and the chance for other complications while battling the cancer.
Radiation exposure to the heart, lungs, and other organs can cause additional complications during a time when the immune system is already compromised. Whether proton therapy is used independently or in conjunction with other forms of treatment, its effectiveness and comparative safety has been proven repeatedly throughout the medical research community.
Researchers have also found evidence that the proton therapy is more effective than traditional radiation therapy. In men fighting prostate cancer, the chances of re-occurrence were reduced by up to 99% after the patients’ five-year follow ups. The rate of re-occurrence varies based on the severity of the prostate cancer. However, even those categorized as high risk had a 74% chance of no re-occurrence with proton radiation therapy.
In addition to increasing the chances of no re-occurrence, research has also found that the proton therapy for cancer deceased the risk of impotence in the patient, which is one of the primary concerns when battling prostate cancer. In studies, 94% of the men reported being able to remain sexually active after treatment. Other treatment options for prostate cancer have left the patient permanently impacted.
While proton therapy centers are still fairly new, they are growing rapidly as more doctors and patients want the option of proton therapy to be available. For example, in 2015, there were 30 new centers under construction. Non-invasive cancer treatment options reduce the amount of time spent in the hospital and can reduce the amount of recovery time needed.
Proton treatment is generally fast. Sessions take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes from start to finish. This makes it work better for most patients who are training to maintain their normal life schedules while going through treatment.
Due to the physical and emotional trauma of surgery, many patients prefer non-invasive cancer treatment options. These options may include proton therapy, for patients in areas where this is a viable option. The sooner cancer is detected,the better the prognosis will be regardless of options, so it is essential to get regular checkups and tests done based on the recommendations of your primary physician.