If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, you’re likely wondering about the treatment options available to you. Chemotherapy is often recommended, but it can also cause significant damage in the body. When it comes to cancer treatment therapy options, proton radiation therapy has emerged as a promising alternative. But like any other cancer treatment, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Using Proton Therapy For Cancer
- Minimal healthy tissue damage
Unlike chemotherapy, opting for proton cancer treatment will focus on cancerous cells without damaging healthy tissue and organs. This means you can get the treatment you need without sacrificing otherwise healthy parts of your body in the process.
- Faster recovery
A common drawback of chemotherapy is how sick patients feel during and after treatment. Patients who undergo proton therapy for prostate cancer, breast cancer, or other forms of the disease will experience fewer negative effects during the treatment, as well as a faster recovery after treatment has been completed.
- Higher probability of survival
Because proton therapy for prostate cancer and breast cancer tends to be more effective in all different stages, patients who experience it have a higher probability of long term survival and complete destruction of cancerous cells.
Disadvantages of Proton Cancer Therapy
- Not readily available
Proton therapy is a highly specialized treatment, which means that it’s available at only a few medical centers throughout the country. This may be a burden for families who live far away from a medical center that offers it, or may render proton therapy for prostate cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, or other cancers impossible.
- It’s expensive
Depending on your insurance plan and provider, some conditions may not be covered for proton therapy. Therefore, it may cost more to patients than traditional radiation treatments and may not be a realistic option for many people.
- Not all-inclusive
Unfortunately, some cancers cannot be treated with proton therapy. Patients whose tumors have spread are typically not good candidates for proton therapy. However, it can be effectively used for many different types of challenging or rare cancers and in many children who have tumors. A consultation with a specialist or with your medical center of choice can help you decide whether proton therapy is right for you.