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An Intro to Proton Therapy

Posted 8/15/2016 by UHBlog

An Intro to Proton Therapy Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy. It can be used to treat cancers that have not spread throughout the body. It uses streams of protons (tiny particles with a positive charge) to kill tumor cells. Protons release energy right into the tumor or lesion. The radiation does not travel beyond the treatment site. This allows higher doses to be given with less harm to healthy nearby tissue. Proton therapy can be very helpful to children and young adults with cancer. It can lessen side effects to tissues and bones that are still growing.

Proton therapy can treat tumors that have not spread to other parts of the body. It is most often used for tumors of the head, neck, lungs, prostate, bladder and spinal cord.

Some benefits of proton therapy are:

  • Less radiation to healthy tissue
  • May reduce risks of side effects
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Anesthesia or sedation can be given as needed
  • Can be used along with chemo or surgery as needed

Proton therapy is not experimental. It was first used to treat patients in a research setting in 1955. The first hospital-based treatment center opened in California in 1990. More than 67,000 people worldwide have been treated with proton therapy. The proton therapy system is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat tumors and lesions any place in the body when radiation treatment is an option.

Learn More:

Find out more about UH Seidman Cancer Center Proton Therapy Center.

To learn more about proton therapy as a cancer treatment, explore the following resources:

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