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Proton Therapy: The Innovative Radiotherapy!

Proton Therapy in India

What Is Proton therapy? 

A type of external beam radiotherapy which uses ionizing radiation in the form of positively charged particles is known as proton therapy. These positively charged particles are called as protons, hence the name. This type of treatment modality is helpful for cancer/tumor cases where the abnormal multiplication of cancer cells needs to be stopped.  The size of the beam is relatively larger owing to the large mass of the protons, it does not scatter much and remains focused on the diseased tissues. Thus it is different from the conventional method of radiation therapy and is used for an effective and precise treatment of cancer.

Medical Conditions Requiring Proton therapy:

  • Ocular tumors such as melanomas
  • Skull base and paraspinal tumors such chondrosarcoma and chondromas
  • Unresectable sarcoms
  • Pediatric neoplasm such medulloblastoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract such as colon cancer
  • Cancer of the head and neck
  • Lymphoma: Cancer of the lymphatic tissues

Signs and Symptoms Indicating a Proton therapy is Needed:

  • You have been diagnosed with cancer/tumor of stage II/III (cancers mentioned in the above section)
  • You already are undergoing chemotherapy or are planning to go for a surgical removal and need to undergo proton therapy in order to reduce the size of the cancer mass.

Conventional Radiotherapy versus Proton Therapy:

Conventional Radiotherapy Proton Radiotherapy
Beam is targeted to the site of cancer, more chances of scattered radiation. Beam is targeted to the site of cancer mass, lesser chances of scattered radiation
Has a tendency to target adjacent healthy tissues, is non specific Does not have a tendency to target adjacent healthy tissues, is target specific
Radiation travels throughout the body Radiation travels throughout the cancer mass at a calculated distance
Patient need not be positioned precisely in the chamber Patient needs to be placed precisely in the radiation chamber
Chances of side effects are more Chances of side effects are far more less

Treatment Procedures for Proton therapy:

After an initial consultation with your oncologist and physician, you will be asked to take part in a simulation. Simulation involves gathering information to help pinpoint the exact size, shape and location of your tumor or lesion and surrounding critical structures using advanced imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT (computed tomography) scanning and/ or PET (positron emission tomography) imaging. Using images and data collected from the simulation, a customized mold and other devices will be created to position you during treatment, so proton therapy can be delivered precisely to the tumor each and every time.

 

Therapy is usually done three to five times a week for six to eight weeks depending upon the type, nature and location of the cancer mass. a single session lasts for about 15 to 45 minutes, with only 3 to 8 minutes of proton radiation. the other time is used to properly position the patient and guide him/her throughout the period.

Complications and Risk Factors Associated With Proton therapy:

As a general rule, the side effects of proton therapy are lesser as compared to the conventional radiation therapy owing to lesser scattered radiation. However, side effects do occur in minor intensities. These are as follows:

  • General weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of hair
  • Headaches, blurred vision
  • Soreness of skin, throat, mouth
  • Less salivation, less sweating, skin rashes

Am I Good Candidate for Proton therapy?

You will be considered an ideal candidate for proton therapy under the following conditions:

  • Clinical as well as radiographic examination confirm your cancer
  • You will needing a surgical removal in near future and at present need to reduce the tumor mass size
  • Cancer is in stage II/III and can be cured with the help of proton therapy totally without any chances of relapse

Recovery Time:

Proton therapy lasts for about 6 to 8 weeks. However the minor side effects that it leaves behind may need another 8 to 12 weeks to disappear from your body. Timely clinical and radiographic examination is needed to keep a check on the cancer/tumor mass for which you had been advised to undergo proton therapy.

Success Rate of Proton therapy:

Proton therapy is successful in almost 78.99 percent cases that it treats, irrespective of type of cancer and has relatively fewer risks and side effects as compared to the conventional radiation therapy.

Benefits of Proton therapy:

A proton therapy will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Have lesser side effects as compared to the conventional radiation doses
  • Promise a more successful recovery
  • Relieve you of the cancer symptoms in a much better way
  • Reduce/eliminate the cancer mass more effectively and precisely 

Cost comparisons:

A single session of proton therapy will cost you around 25 to 30,000 INR which averages to 1,00,000 to 1,50,000 INR for 4 to 6 sessions. This amount is one fourth of what you will be paying at places abroad. 

Why choose India?

Team MedcureIndia aptly propagates proton therapy in India fro it clients all over the globe considering we at the Indian land provide the sessions at the most affordable rates and ensure super successful results.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

• Can proton therapy be an alternative to surgery?

No, not really. Proton therapy can be combined with surgical intervention, As in it can be done prior to the surgery to reduce the cancer mass.

• Can proton therapy cure throat cancer?

Yes, but in many cases it is just the stage III that can be attempted to cure with proton therapy

• IS proton therapy harmful?

No, the radiation does not have a tendency to stay back in the human body. It has lesser scattered radiation dose and does not harm the adjacent healthy structures. 

• Will I be hospitalized for receiving the proton therapy?

No, you are only expected to visit the radiologist for a period of 45 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week for 6 to 8 weeks. The above stats may vary as per your cancer type and location.

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