Proton Therapy as a Treatment for Breast Cancer

Radiation treatment for cancer

Those suffering from cancer will want to utilize the most effective treatment methods. Many have found an ally in the fight against cancer to be proton therapy. Innovations in technology have made this form of therapy a viable treatment for cancer. It’s common for a breast cancer specialist to use proton therapy to treat patients. In this post, we will discuss the creation of this therapy, benefits of these procedures, and proton therapy providers.

A Brief History of Proton Therapy

Proton therapy was first invented in 1946 by a doctor named Robert Wilson. However, this form of therapy wasn’t used to treat patients until the 1950s. It would take nearly 20 years before proton therapy was seen as a viable cancer treatment therapy. The advance of technology has helped to increase the effectiveness of proton therapy. It is a rare feat for a cancer treatment center to have proton therapy available.

What Exactly is Therapy Using Protons?

For example, a breast cancer specialist can administer protons to the front of a tumor. After the initial does, the protons spread to the rest of the tumor. The energy provided by the protons cause new, healthier tissue to form around the tumor. Technological advances mean that proton therapy can be an effective treatment for breast cancer. However, that doesn’t mean that proton therapy is only used in this area. Doctors prefer the reduction in radiation suffered to the patient’s chest with proton therapy.

Benefits of Proton Therapy

One main benefit of patients undergoing proton therapy is how non-invasive the treatment is, when compared to other methods. A breast cancer specialist can provide treatment to affected areas with far lower radiation rates. Recent research shows that proton therapy in breast cancer patients gave no radiation to the heart. In addition, these patients only had 50% less radiation exposure in the lung area, when compared to conventional methods of radiation.

Another benefit of proton therapy is how well it keeps patients free of cancer. Recent research was done on a group of men with varying levels of prostate cancer. These men were grouped into three distinct classes, separating by those with low, intermediate, and higher risks of prostate cancer. After completing proton therapy, the findings on cancer recurring after five years were shocking. Regarding this study’s results, lower risk reported 99 percent, medium risk reported 94 percent, and higher risk patients reported 74 percent of patients that were cancer free five years after proton therapy.

Therapy Providers

In most cases, proton therapy is started after surgery, around four to six weeks later. Proton therapy typically lasts only about six weeks. Many breast cancer patients will seek treatment at a facility that uses proton therapy. Cancer treatment centers are where breast cancer doctors will be able to provide effective proton treatment. Proton therapy is far less invasive than most commonly used methods. A patient should also seek comfort in how quick the duration of this treatment.

The proton method used will vary dependent upon the breast cancer specialist you are seeing. There are two main methods of proton therapy, one involves attacking the front of the tumor. However, the other school of thought is to attack the back of the tumor. Both methods have been proven to be effective treatments for breast cancer. Any breast cancer specialist using proton therapy will use the most effective method for your situation.

In conclusion, proton therapy has grown into becoming a very viable cancer treatment method. This treatment began on patients in the 1970s but has greatly evolved over time. Recent years have seen various cancer treatment centers offering proton therapy as the main treatment method. Many patients prefer proton therapy because of how non-invasive it is. In addition, the statistics regarding cancer not coming back in patients is great news for this therapy. Proton therapy is only about a six week treatment, another perk of this therapy.

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