Protons. It is term generally reserved for particle physics, with many seeing little application into the day to day lives of Americans. But that is changing, slowly, but changing. There is now a treatment that has been developed in the past ten years that fights cancer. And with, you guessed it, protons.
There are many statistics about proton therapy that are worth noting. Some of those statistics have to do with how proton therapy works. Others share its efficacy in reducing tumors in bodies. There are some that have to do with other ailments that proton therapy might deal with some day. The statistics are:
- Proton therapy is a type of radiation that stops at a very specific point in the targeted tissue; conventional radiation continues beyond the tumor. In breast cancer, this means on average no radiation to the heart and on average 50% less radiation to the lung.
- Researchers report that 99%, 94% and 74% of men treated with proton therapy with low-, intermediate-, and high-risk prostate cancer, respectively, have no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow-up.
- Studies have found that prostate cancer patients treated using this method have a significantly reduced risk of impotence, with 94% of men reporting that they remain sexually active after treatment.
- Approximately 23,800 adults and 4,830 children are diagnosed with cancerous tumors of the brain and spinal cord each year, with brain tumors making up the majority of that number.
- At the beginning of 2015, more than 30 particle therapy centers were under construction worldwide.
- Proton therapy decreases the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures by at least 59% compared to X-rays.
- A treatment session generally takes 15 to 45 minutes, however the actual time spent delivering the protons to the tumor is only about a minute or two.
Those are a great many statistics that can be read in any order and still be made sense of. The truth is, proton therapy according to those statistics can be a very effective treatment for different kinds of cancer. There is proton therapy for brain cancer, proton therapy for breast cancer, proton therapy for head and neck cancer.
Proton therapy for cancer is a generally used treatment that has more treatment facilities likely opening their doors every year. It is similar to radiation in that it uses something unseen to the human eye to attack the cancerous cells. But unlike radiation, proton therapy is more focused.
This reduces the likelihood of damaged tissue around the tumor, which is an issue with sensitive areas of the body, including the breast, the brain, and the prostate. There is actually proton treatment and proton therapy for prostate cancer, as it reduces the size of the tumors with damaging the genitalia. For one example, men continue to have sex.
Head and neck cancer treatment is a situation where there are sensitive parts of the body that are being assaulted by cancer. Head and neck cancer treatment needs to effective but also needs to make sure that other parts of the body aren’t damaged in the treatment. Head and neck cancer treatment needs a specified focus, compared to other areas.
That is why head and neck cancer treatment can use proton therapy to reduce the possibility that other parts of the body are going to be damaged in the treatment process. A person might experience less pain, because the areas which are being targeted with protons are less.
There are some terms worth knowing when it comes to proton therapy. They are proton beam radiation, prostate cancer treatment, prostate cancer specialist, proton radiation therapy, radiation treatment for cancer, treating prostate cancer, treatment for breast cancer, treatment options for prostate cancer, and more.
These statistics, the ones shared above, are important to know for the efficacy of proton therapy as stated in those statistics. It is possible, at least in those studies, that the size of the tumor went down, some significantly. These studies are run by researchers, possibly doctors, who want to show the efficacy of the treatment.
There are many things that are important to know when it comes to cancer treatment. These are big issues that affect a great deal of families and result in millions of people lost each years. The illness is significant. It damages lives and damages families. It kills many. There are other ills.