Treating cancer is something scientists are hard at work figuring out. Early cancer treatments varied wildly in terms of positive results. A recent innovation known as proton therapy has helped to change the way cancer is treated. It’s wise to know more about proton therapy. Not everyone is aware of how beneficial proton therapy is for breast cancer. This type of cancer affects many people each year. In this post, you will learn what proton therapy is and how it’s used to fight breast cancer.
What is Proton Therapy
In order to understand what proton therapy is, it’s important to look at older cancer treatments. Standard radiation was the norm for decades. The problem was that early cancer treatment methods sent electrons far beyond the area they were treating. For instance, someone with breast cancer that uses standard radiation could have rays go beyond the affected area. Proton therapy for breast cancer often means no radiation goes to the heart and half as much goes to the lung area.
Older radiation systems treated cancerous cells but the rays were tough to control. Breast cancer treatment with standard rays allowed radiation to potentially spread. Proton cancer treatment allows for doctors to set where the radiation peaks. Controlling the protons helps to ensure cancerous cells are hit the hardest.
Proton Treatment Benefits for Breast Cancer Patients
Proton therapy is used alone or as part of a treatment plan. In certain cases, proton treatment could be used in combination with chemotherapy and surgery. A breast cancer specialist will discuss possible plans for your particular situation. Patients being treated with proton therapy will need to wear a special device. Breast cancer patients will typically wear an immobilization device that covers the chest area. This device is used to help ensure the proton therapy rays go where they are supposed to.
One reason proton cancer treatment is highly preferred is that it is not invasive. Older treatments for cancer often involved surgeries. Many patients will choose a noninvasive treatment for breast cancer. In addition to being noninvasive, a proton cancer treatment doesn’t take a long time. An average proton cancer treatment session takes between 15 to 45 minutes. The actual proton delivery phase only lasts a few minutes.
Proton therapy is often considered an outpatient procedure. An outpatient procedure is great for those who don’t want to stay a long time in a hospital. Sleeping overnight in an unfamiliar environment isn’t always easy. In many cases, a proton therapy session will have you able to go home the same day. The number of proton treatment sessions you will need depends on how advanced cancer has become. Many patients receive the treatment they need from one to five proton cancer treatment sessions.
In closing, proton therapy is a cancer treatment method with many benefits. This form of cancer treatment uses targeted rays. These rays are made to stay within the area of a tumor without spreading to other parts of the body. Proton therapy has many advantages when compared with standard cancer treatment methods. One study found that proton therapy reduced radiation dosage by 59% when compared to standard X rays. Proton therapy is a treatment method is often requires on overnight stays for patients. The average proton treatment session is done in less than an hour. Many breast cancer patients are seeing the many benefits of proton therapy.