Radiation therapy is widely used in the treatment of oncological diseases. And the newest type of radiotherapy is proton therapy. In special cases, proton therapy has more benefits compared to conventional radiation therapy.
What is proton therapy?
Proton therapy has been used since the 2000s. This is a high precision treatment option. There are only about 60 clinics all over the world that offer proton therapy. In particular, in Germany, there are six proton therapy clinics with all the required certificates. And everyone can undergo proton therapy in German hospitals.
Proton therapy differs from conventional radiation therapy. Standard radiotherapy uses the energy of X-rays. X-ray beam enters the body, passes through the tumor and leaves the body from the other side. While the X-ray beam is moving it releases destructive energy. It means that radiation dose may also affect healthy tissues.
Proton therapy is based on using proton’s energy. Protons have a special trajectory of movement. They release their energy directly in the tumor and then stop. Protons don’t go out of the tumor and that’s why don’t affect healthy tissues.
Benefits of proton therapy
Various types of radiotherapy are based on the same principle of damaging cellular DNA. This ultimately leads to a violation of cancer cells division and reproduction.
The main advantage of proton therapy is that protons release their energy directly in the tumor. As a result, the tumor will receive more radiation exposure, while the radiation effect on healthy tissues will decrease. It helps to treat cancer more effectively and avoid the undesirable effects of radiotherapy.
What’s kind of diseases may be treated?
Currently, proton therapy is used in the treatment of various oncological diseases. Due to its properties, proton therapy is especially valuable in the treatment of tumors, which are located next to vital organs or delicate parts of the body. It may be applied as a single treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as operation.
Proton therapy is suitable for children because it has fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy. Thus, proton therapy is used in the treatment of such diseases:
- Brain tumor.
- Tumors of the skull’s basis.
- Head and neck cancer.
- Spinal tumors.
- Eye melanoma.
- Breast cancer.
- Lung cancer.
- Prostate cancer.
- Malignant tumors in children.
Preparation for therapy
Proton therapy starts with thorough planning. The radiologist needs to make sure that the proton beam will get to the target. During the session, the radiologist creates a correct and comfortable patient’s position on a table for the future treatment. Medics can also use some restraint devices.
Then a patient should undergo imaging tests, such as computed tomography, in order to receive pictures of a tumor. This helps to spot the treatment area and decide how to direct the proton beam on it better. After the diagnostics, a specialist will mark the impact area on the patient’s body.
What does the proton therapy procedure look like?
Proton therapy is an outpatient procedure. Usually, patients undergo therapy five days a week. The whole course of treatment lasts for several weeks. In some diseases, the patient will need only a few sessions. Session of proton therapy may last only for a few minutes, but preparing for this may take half of an hour.
The patient lies on the table in the established position, as during the planning session. Then a radiologist conducts required visual tests.
The medical team will monitor a patient from another office. A cyclotron starts working. The proton beam heads into the body at pre-calculated depth, where the tumor is located. The gantry may move around the body and irradiate the tumor from different positions. The patient will not feel any discomfort at this moment.
After the ending of the treatment session patient may feel tiredness. Sometimes patients also may get skin redness. As proton therapy means less exposure to radiation, side effects are less pronounced than those of conventional radiation therapy. After the proton therapy, a patient doesn’t need any rehabilitation.
How to get proton therapy in Germany?
For many years proton therapy has been successfully applied in cancer patients worldwide. Nevertheless, proton therapy is available only in a few countries. That’s why patients try to get proton therapy abroad, particularly in Germany.
You can undergo proton therapy in German hospitals using the services of Booking Health. We will arrange treatment in a German clinic as soon as possible. To make your trip comfortable, we will prepare all documents, book flights, and hotels, provide transfer from an airport.
Visiting our website Booking Health you may get more information about German hospitals and find the prices of proton therapy.
Article Submitted By Community Writer