After 3 years, 46% of patients in the proton therapy group and 49% of those in the traditional radiation therapy group were cancer free. Fifty-six percent of people who received proton therapy and 58% of those who received traditional radiation were still alive after 3 years.
Proton therapy is just as effective as conventional radiation therapy . It’s less likely to damage other organs and produces fewer side effects. It also causes fewer side effects than chemotherapy or hormone therapy .
There are many benefits of proton therapy treatment for prostate cancer at the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center including: Precise, accurate delivery of even high radiation doses to kill cancerous cells in the prostate . Minimal impact to surrounding, healthy tissues and vital organs, such as the bladder and rectum.
Which types of cancers can be treated with proton therapy? Proton therapy is most commonly used at MSK to treat head and neck cancer and pediatric cancers. We also are using it increasingly to treat spine tumors, breast cancer, sarcoma, brain tumors , and prostate cancer .
Proton therapy can cause side effects as the cancer cells die or when the energy from the proton beam damages healthy tissue.
Particularly good candidates for proton therapy are patients with solid tumors near sensitive organs, such as brain, breast and lung cancers. While, for recurrent, pediatric and ocular cancers, proton radiation is viewed as the standard of care.
Radiation therapy is a good choice for many men with early-stage prostate cancer. It is also the best treatment for older men or those who have other health problems. There are different types of radiation therapy : External beam radiation .
The survival expectancy for men with Gleason 8 –10 adenocarcinoma of the prostate treated with hormonal therapy was 6– 8 years less than that for controls.
Proton therapy is covered in the United States by Medicare and many insurance providers. MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center accepts several major insurance plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid. Our patient access specialists can work with your insurance carrier to define your benefits.
Cruciferous vegetables These include broccoli , cauliflower , cabbage, Brussels sprouts , bok choy , spinach and kale. Some studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables may help slow down the growth of prostate cancer and reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Proton therapy does not cause pain , though some patients with physical limitations may experience some discomfort due to positioning. The actual treatment and delivery of the proton beams only takes a couple of minutes.
Proton therapy is usually painless, and you can often return to your daily activities afterward. A typical course of treatment is five days per week for several weeks. The proton beam only treats you for a few minutes, but preparation and positioning take longer.
In quite a few cancers , stage 4 means the cancer has spread (metastasised) to another part of the body to form secondary cancers (metastases). As a general rule cancers that have spread are difficult to treat and are unlikely to be cured in the long term, although treatment can help to shrink or control them.
How do proton beams destroy cancer cells? All radiation therapies, including protons and X-rays, destroy cancer cells by damaging their DNA. When protons reach the nucleus (or center) of cancer cells, they transfer energy to the cells’ electrons causing a series of interactions, or ionizing events, that damage the DNA.
How many visits or treatments does it take to complete a course of proton therapy ? The number of treatments is dependent on the specific diagnosis but they can range anywhere from 5 treatments to 39.