Proton Beam Therapy Not Always a Viable Option

Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are likely to find themselves researching their treatment options to ensure the best possible outcome. Chances are they’ll come across discussion about the use of proton beam therapy in treatment. This alternative to standard radiation offers a great deal of promise, but it’s not an option for all patients for a few important reasons.

Proton beam therapy is similar to standard radiation therapy, but delivers unique distribution properties that enable clinicians to increase dosing while sparing surrounding tissue. Much like standard intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), this course of treatment is designed to kill cancer cells and stop their spread. Because of the precision offered in proton therapy, this course of treatment may help spare nearby tissue from damage during irradiation.

Costs associated with proton beam therapy have made this alternative rather limited in its availability. While it is growing in popularity, this form of treatment isn’t readily available in many locations. IMRT, however, is a gold standard in patient care and is also designed to spare as much healthy, nearby tissue as possible. Both treatments have been shown useful in treating certain forms of cancer. IMRT and proton beam, for example, can both be used rather effectively to treat prostate cancer.

Patients who are diagnosed with cancer may find that proton beam therapy is not readily available for their use, but IMRT is. This more tested form of treatment draws on advanced technology to make radiation beams conform to the shape of a tumor. The resulting dose delivery is also quite precise, enabling clinicians to reduce exposure to healthy issue. This form of therapy uses either photon or proton beams to irradiate cancer cells.

Patients who are diagnosed with cancer are advised to discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. Both proton beam therapy and IMRT can produce the desired results. The best option will depend on the specifics in each unique case and the availability of treatment delivery systems.

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