Because of the advanced capabilities of proton therapy and the collective expertise of Winship radiation oncologists, radiation physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and more, patients will receive more powerful and effective radiation directly to the cancer cells and reduce exposure or risk to vital organs and healthy tissues. This reduces the risks of possible longer-term effects from treatment, with a goal of improved quality of life.
One key benefit of proton therapy is its use in treating children, whose growth can be affected by long-term side effects from radiation. Because proton therapy avoids areas of the body that don't need radiation, it can dramatically reduce the risk of new tumors or cancers developing, and risks of heart or lung disease, hormone problems, hearing loss, and many other effects. In adult patients, a good example is the treatment of head and neck cancers, which can be a difficult treatment course with many short and long term side effects. Initial clinical experience has shown that proton therapy can reduce some of the side effects during the treatment course, like difficulty swallowing, mouth sores, the need for a temporary feeding tube, and reduce some of the long-term risks of treatment like dry mouth.
Types of Cancers Treated
Ongoing national and international research has demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of proton therapy for patients with a wide array of cancers and certain benign conditions, including:
- pediatric cancers
- head and neck cancer
- brain and spine tumors
- lung cancer
- prostate cancer
- breast cancer
- gastrointestinal cancer
- bone tumors
- pelvic cancers
- some types of sarcoma
- other tumors that are close to the heart or other vital organs.
Header image of treatment room: ©Prakash Patel. Courtesy of Stantec Architecture.
Request an Appointment
Referring physicians and patients with questions about proton therapy and its appropriateness for their individual cancers can schedule a consultation with a Winship radiation oncology expert by calling 1-833-3PROTON (1-833-377-6866).