The Benefits of Proton Therapy at Your Cancer Treatment Center


 

When people think of cancer treatments, they typically think of either chemotherapy or radiation. However, the options within these two categories are far more complex than most people realize. There are thousands of different combinations of chemicals that make up the various chemotherapy treatments. Likewise, there are different forms of radiation that can be used in different situations.

One form of radiation that has been found to be particularly beneficial in reducing the overall damage caused by radiation is called proton therapy. One of the major disadvantages of radiation is that when introducing radioactive particles into the body, you are damaging both the cancerous cells and the healthy cells.

Proton therapy dramatically reduces the risk of damaging healthy cells by better targeting where the radiation is going. By ensuring that the vast majority of the radiation is only hitting the cancerous cells, doctors can reduce harm to the patient.

For example, research has found that utilizing proton therapy with breast cancer patients resulted in no radiation exposure to the heart and 50% less exposure to the lungs when compared to traditional radiation therapy. Breast cancer treatment has been primarily standard for many years. This new option has opened up new opportunities for patients to take an active role in their breast cancer care. Another clear example has been found in prostate cancer treatment, which often results in impotence.

With proton therapy, 95% of the men in the study were still sexually active following the treatment. When looking at factors like quality of life and overall health, these are the things that patients care about. While effectively and quickly treating the cancer is of the utmost importance maintaining health and dignity following the treatment and throughout is also essential.

Proton therapy centers offer patients more options in their radiation treatment for cancer. When going to a cancer treatment center, new patients may not know what to expect. Given the state of their health, they are probably nervous, scared, or feeling intimidating. Regardless of the treatment sought after, the patient should always be made to feel comfortable and cared for.

When proton therapy was first introduced finding a cancer treatment center that offered this option was difficult. However, as it has grown in popularity many treatment centers have expanded and many new treatment centers have been built. The options for patients is growing exponentially. Finding a cancer treatment center that offers proton therapy is much easier than it previously was and will continue to get easier ass new centers open.

Often times, the cancer treatment center you go to may be dictated by your doctor. However, it is important to remember that you have a say in your treatment plan and overall health. If proton therapy was not offered to you as an option, you an bring it up. Often times, oncologist do not want to overwhelm you with too many options because they understand you are in a fragile mental state immediately following a cancer diagnosis. They may offer you only one or two options based on their tried and true methods.

It is okay to ask for a second opinion or research your own options. You are ultimately in charge of your own health and it is paramount that you are an active participant in your recovery. The more you believe in the treatment plan, the better the treatment will go because your emotions and attitude have an impact on your outcomes and how you feel from one day tot he next.

In addition to finding a doctor and a cancer treatment center that you are comfortable with, surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people will also go a long way in helping you through your recovery. There has been a great deal of research on the impact of maintaining a positive attitude, but that can be hard sometimes. Constantly being around positive, upbeat, and fun people will help you keep everything in perspective.

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