Proton Therapy Making Positive Waves in Medical Industry
Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer. Just as with conventional radiation therapy, protons treat tumors by directing radiation into the tumor site where doses of radiation destroy cancerous cells.
Patients can receive proton therapy alone, or it can be combined with other cancer treatment modalities such as surgery or chemotherapy. Proton therapy typically begins four to six weeks after chemotherapy and is usually given over a period of six weeks. The benefits of proton therapy treatments include increased quality of life, decreased side effects both during and after treatment, and minimizing damage to healthy tissues and surrounding organs. During the past five years, proton therapy has become more accessible and has been making positive waves in the medical industry.
According to UC Health News, a Kentucky resident is doing much better after successful proton treatments.
Troy Witt visited an optometrist to see about his watery eye and found out that he had a brain tumor the size of a fist. After undergoing three surgeries, a remaining piece of tumor was found, along with other small cancerous spots surrounding the area, which made him a candidate for proton treatment.
The 65-year-old Witt was one of the first people ever to be treated at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/UC Health Proton Therapy Center (one of only 25 in the country).
“I’m just looking forward to being pure old me again,” Witt added. “Playing Frisbee with my dog, spending my time with my little wife of 50 years (Brenda), planting a garden in the spring.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has used proton therapy to treat 150 kids who have tumors in the brain, bone, and soft tissue.
According to The Commercial Appeal, since receiving its first patient in November 2015, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is worth $60 million and is the first proton therapy facility dedicated solely to assisting children in the world.
“Everything we do at the proton therapy center is image-guided, said Andrew Saunders, radiation therapist. “We’re able to spare all this healthy tissue around the tumor.”
Breast cancer specialists are finding proton therapy beneficial for left-sided breast cancer because it minimizes radiation exposure to the heart and lungs. Studies have shown women who receive traditional radiation therapy for left-sided breast cancer often end up with heart disease several years later. Men are increasingly choosing proton therapy for prostate cancer instead of surgery or other treatments to preserve sexual function and reduce radiation damage to healthy surrounding tissue.
Proton therapy for brain cancer treatment is considered the gold standard, especially in pediatric patients, because it spares damage to the surrounding health brain tissue, particularly important for the still-developing child. If you want to learn more about proton therapy for cancer, contact Provision Proton Therapy Center today!