This treatment is a newer mode of radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells using positively charged subatomic particles. This allows for more precise targeting of a tumour compared to the x-rays used in standard radiotherapy. This results in less damage to nearby healthy tissues and organs, and hence, potentially, less treatment-related side effects.
In traditional radiation therapy, X-ray beams are typically used to treat cancer. The X-ray beams go through the cancerous tissue (tumour) destroying both healthy and cancerous areas along the path of the beam. Proton beams enter the body and deposit most of their energy at the target – the site of the tumour. Radiation oncology physicians are able to focus the energy of the proton beam within a tumour, minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissues and vital organs.
Patients benefit from minimal radiation exposure and damage to nearby healthy tissues and organs, and hence reduced treatment-related side effects like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or even developing a second cancer due to over exposure of radiation in standard radiotherapy. Patients also benefit from enjoying improved quality of life using proton therapy treatment. The treatment is fast and effective in treating many types of tumours as well as cancers that cannot be removed completely by surgery.