When talking about cancer treatments, traditional methods or procedures are typically the first things that come to mind for many people. This includes traditional radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, interventional radiology as well as bone and marrow stem cell transplant. But nowadays, a new type of cancer treatment called proton therapy is getting more popular in the US.
Proton therapy is an advanced radiation therapy that has shown promise in treating several types of cancers in their early stages. It can precisely target tumors while lowering the risk of side effects. Listed below are some types of cancers that can be treated with proton therapy:
- Brain Cancer
In curing brain cancer, the tumor must be treated, and the cancer cells should be destroyed without damaging the healthy surrounding tissues. This makes proton therapy an excellent tool for physicians. It only targets the tumor and the cancer cells while protecting the healthy tissues nearby.
- Breast Cancer
Treating breast cancer typically involves a combination of methods or procedures such as chemotherapy, surgery, and traditional radiation therapy. But instead of using them, experts suggest that proton therapy is a better alternative to ensure less damage to nearby vital organs like the heart and lungs.
- Esophageal Cancer
Like breast cancer, esophageal cancer may also be treated by combining traditional radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, depending on the stage of the disease. Since the esophagus is close to other vital organs like the heart, lungs, and spinal cord, it’s best to use proton therapy instead of traditional radiation. This way, those nearby healthy organs won’t be exposed to x-ray radiation.
- Head, Neck, and Oral Cancers
When treating head, neck, and oral cancers with proton therapy, patients will have a low risk for side effects like bone injury and dry mouth. The risk of damaging the salivary gland, optic nerves, eyes, and other surrounding tissues and organs is also substantially reduced. Often, surgeries are also needed to treat head, neck, and oral cancers.
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
As the name implies, Hodgkin lymphoma is a kind of cancer that is often found in the lymph nodes. Although many have been cured of this cancer using traditional radiation, patients may also experience side effects, which include heart disease and secondary cancers. To reduce these risks, many physicians would recommend using proton therapy instead of x-ray radiation.
- Lung Cancer
Using proton therapy in treating this cancer allows physicians to provide doses of radiation to the targeted area of the lung while reducing the impact on the surrounding healthy tissues. That said, side effects such as fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, and significant weight loss are almost eliminated.
- Pancreatic Cancer
This cancer is found in the tissues of the pancreas, which is located near other critical tissues and organs like the stomach, kidney, and spinal cord. That said, many physicians say that pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat using traditional radiation because the surrounding healthy organs can be damaged.
The good news is that proton therapy allows oncologists to precisely treat the area while reducing the risk of exposing the healthy tissues and organs to unnecessary radiation. Surgeries and chemotherapy are also needed to treat pancreatic cancer.
Many types of sarcomas can be classified into two groups: bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas. They are cancerous tumors that develop in connective tissues like bones, cartilage, fat, muscles, and nerves. Using proton therapy allows physicians to aggressively treat such tumors without exposing the surrounding tissues to unnecessary radiation.
Start Getting Treated With Proton Therapy Today!
Aside from the ones listed above, proton therapy can also treat retinoblastoma and neuroblastoma, anal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, and rectal cancer. So, if you or your loved one have any of these diseases, you should consider getting treated with proton therapy. It has been proven to be effective both in children and adults. It also reduces your risk of experiencing side effects during and after your treatment.
According to The National Association for Proton Therapy, there are currently 39 regional centers across the country, so you’ll surely find the right healthcare facility for you. If you live in Florida, you can find a proton therapy center in Nashville. Get in touch with them now to find out more about how they can help you.
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