Frequently Asked Questions

As a patient or a caregiver, you may have questions about your treatment with proton therapy. In this FAQ, we provide answers to the more commonly asked questions received by our care team.

How do I know proton therapy is a good option for me?

Your radiation oncologist will consider many factors when recommending the best treatment option for you. While proton therapy may not always be appropriate, our expert team will review your case and discuss our recommendations during your first visit.

How successful is proton therapy?

Success with proton therapy depends on many factors, including the stage and the type of tumor you have. Research show that proton therapy is as effective as other forms of radiation treatment and may achieve better results in certain cases. We will discuss your expectations from treatment as part of your consultation.

What if I do not live within driving distance?

Our team will work with you to discuss options for lodging if you live too far away to commute for your daily treatment.

Can I drive or work?

Most patients are able to drive and have no restrictions on activity during their proton treatment. If you are unable to drive, we have staff that are able to assist you with transportation options. If you are unable to work, time off from the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may be an option for you.

How long is a treatment course?

Proton therapy is usually given daily, Monday through Friday. The length of treatment may vary from two to eight weeks and will depend on your diagnosis and other factors. The average treatment time is six weeks. Your recommended number of treatments will be discussed during your consultation.

How long is treatment each day?

Most patients spend about 30 minutes in the treatment room each day. Much of that time is spent getting set up for treatment and making sure everything is properly aligned before treatment begins. The actual treatment is typically delivered in a few minutes.

What are the side effects?

Like other types of radiation treatments, proton therapy is invisible and painless. All treatments have potential side effects and risks that can depend on your tumor and its location. Your physician will monitor the progress of your treatment and address any side effects you experience.

What about my other appointments?

Many patients receive other treatments and procedures during their course of proton therapy. Our team works with your other medical providers so that you receive all necessary treatments.

What if I am not a patient at Emory?

If you are already under the care of other specialists outside of Emory, we will partner with them in your treatment, whether they're across town or across the world.

Request an Appointment

If you or your physician desires a consultation or further information about proton therapy, please contact us at 1-833-377-6866 or fill out our web consultation form. An Emory Proton Therapy Center professional will promptly respond to your online referral inquiry or phone call.


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