Frequently Asked Questions

Can proton therapy be used in combination with other forms of cancer treatment?

Proton therapy may be used alone or in combination with conventional radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or surgery. Your cancer team will work with you to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.

What is the proton therapy treatment process? How long does it take?

A step-by-step treatment process is outlined under our What to Expect section.

What are the side effects of proton therapy treatment?

Proton therapy is a noninvasive, painless outpatient procedure. Common side effects can vary widely depending on the part of the body that is being treated. Some common side effects include diarrhea, fatigue, headache and loss of appetite. These side effects may be less significant with proton therapy than with traditional radiation therapy. Some side effects, such as hair loss and skin irritation, can be more pronounced with proton beam therapy. During treatment, most patients continue to perform daily activities.

Is proton therapy an option for children?

Proton therapy is an ideal treatment option for some children and teens, whose developing bodies are especially prone to adverse radiation effects. Additionally, proton therapy may decrease risk for radiation-induced secondary cancers, developmental delays and growth abnormalities.

Does proton therapy require an inpatient stay at the hospital?

Like standard external beam radiation therapy, proton therapy is a noninvasive, painless procedure that does not require hospitalization. However, some patients may receive proton therapy in combination with other treatments that require an inpatient stay at the hospital.

Is proton therapy covered by insurance?

Proton therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is covered by Medicare for many cancers. Several health care insurance providers have specific guidelines for coverage. Our team will work with you to understand the individual coverage provided by your insurance carrier. For more information, call the Proton Therapy Center at 216-286-PROT (216-286-7768).

Where can I get information about nearby lodging and other accommodations?

University Hospitals provides a complimentary concierge service to assist with lodging, transportation and other accommodations available at prearranged rates for those patients coming from outside the Cleveland area. The UH Concierge is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

UH Proton Therapy Center

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Call 216-286-PROT and ask how we can assist patients with travel and accommodations with our personalized concierge service.

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