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Prostate Cancer Proton Therapy  


Prostate cancer is becoming more and more common among modern men. Although can affect anyone, the disease normally affects men who are more than fifty years old. It is a sad new for a man to hear his doctor says “I am sorry; you have prostate cancer”. Those who are diagnosed with prostate cancer should face it bravely and be ready to undergo the treatment and its side effects. One of the therapies often used to cure patients of prostate cancer is proton therapy. This is an expensive therapy and is suggested only when other treatments fail to render positive results.  


Proton Therapy 


Proton therapy is also known as particle therapy. Under this therapy a beam of protons is radiated on those tissues where the tumor has developed. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, the proton radiation is very precise and does not affect the surrounding normal cells and tissues. Proton beam only destroys the specific cancerous cells. This therapy is very useful for prostate cancer patients due to its highly localized nature. The only disadvantage of this treatment is that it is expensive and beyond the reach of common men.  


During the therapy, a particle accelerator is targeted on the tumor tissue. These particles are charged with protons and have the ability to destroy the DNA of the cancer cells, thus reducing the progression of these cells. This proton beam does not scatter much because of their specific properties. They focus only on the tumor due to their inability to expand or extend. In other words, protons with particular intensity can penetrate only up to a certain extent. 


Advantages of Proton Therapy over Radiation Therapy 


In case of prostate cancer, incontinence is the worst side effect that can arise due to exposure of bladder or urethra to radiations in conventional radiation method. Incontinence means involuntary leakage of the urine. This is a major issue that can be solved only with the help of further treatments or surgeries. Proton therapy does not carry chances of any such major side effect. This treatment uses the ionizing radiation and solves several prostate related symptoms like weak urine flow or the incapability to urinate.  


Why Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer Treatment?


This treatment is very helpful for those patients who are in the initial stages of the prostate cancer. It is less painful in comparison to the conventional radiation treatment. It is a preferred radiation therapy is it does not leave negative effect over healthy cells and tissues.  


Proton therapy is known for fewer side effects. In comparison to conventional radiation treatment, proton therapy shows less pneumonitis, esophagitis, and bone marrow toxicity. The fact that radiation therapy and chemotherapy are akin to a double-edged sword that kills cancerous as well as normal cells, proton therapy finds more relevance for its expertise in killing only malignant cells.  

The protons radiation stops right after penetrating tumor growth and save surrounding cells, tissues and organs from damage. This explains minimal side effects of this therapy in comparison to other radiation therapies. The only downside of this therapy is its newness and expensiveness. Another hitch in proton therapy is that sometimes the reach of proton rays is so short and precise that core areas of tumors get missed in the process.