Proton therapy uses protons to treat cancer. It is a type of radiation therapy, if given in right doses can help treat cancer. Proton therapy, also known as proton beam therapy, uses beams of protons to destroy diseased tissues for the treatment of cancer. Proton therapy treatment time duration may vary from one day to seven weeks.
Proton therapy is also known as proton beam therapy that uses protons in radiation beams to treat cancer. Doctors prefer to use a proton therapy alone, or they may combine the procedure with other standard treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy or immunotherapy or surgery to destroy cancer cells. A proton is a type of positively charged particle that uses high energy to destroy abnormal cells.
Proton therapy side effects normally include swelling, redness, blistering, dryness, peeling, irritation, etc. If you are receiving other types of treatments (like chemotherapy) in combination with proton therapy, there are possibilities of other side effects.
The reasons for getting side effects from proton therapy include:
There are certain types of cancers that are treated best with a proton therapy, especially tumours near the spinal cord, brain and eye. The plus point is the therapy reduces chances of harming any developing and healthy tissues. The procedure is also used for treating other types of cancers, such as lung cancer, head and neck cancer, eye cancer, liver cancer, prostate cancer, pelvic sarcomas and non cancerous brain tumours.
The treatment time of proton therapy usually ranges from 15 to 30 minutes. However, the time duration may vary depending upon the parts of the body receiving the treatment, the number of CT scans or X-rays done and the number of treatment segments. The number of sessions required depends upon the stage and type of the treatment. It should be known that a proton therapy is given in an outpatient clinic.
Before a proton therapy, your health care team decides a planning process to ensure that the proton beams reach the accurate spots in your body. Planning includes:
Proton therapy is given in an outpatient setting, so the patient is discharged on the same day. The recovery time of proton therapy is quick and you feel no pain from the procedure. However, you are required to undergo periodic testing during and after the therapy. It will help to determine whether your cancer is properly responding to the treatments. The number of scans you may have to go through depends upon your situation.