Prostate cancer is a tumor that claims many lives among men. Next to the lung variety, it stands as the second most fatal cancer among males across the country. The malignant disease typically stems from family genetics or damaging habits like smoking. Men who are over 50 years of age are more at risk of getting this type of cancer.
The good news is that several medical procedures help treat the malignant disease. One such treatment is the use of proton therapy for prostate cancer. With this approach, doctors use high-energy proton radiation beams to destroy cancer cells and other harmful tumors.
If you’re interested in getting proton therapy, it’s best to learn more about the treatment. Discover how this medical innovation affects your body and how you can prepare for it.
General Benefits for Cancer Patients
Undergoing proton therapy for prostate cancer has some advantages. Most of these benefits make the procedure more bearable than other treatments. Read on to find out more.
Non-Invasive and Painless
If you’re worried about getting hurt during your treatment, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Proton therapy is a non-invasive and painless procedure. It starts with you lying down and getting strapped onto a table. A state-of-the-art machine called the gantry administers the radiation on affected areas of your body.
More Accurate Delivery
As mentioned, doctors use the cutting-edge gantry to treat patients with proton therapy. This medical equipment targets cancerous cells and tumors with precision. The high-energy beams from the machine also remove harmful tumors near the said cancer. Due to its accuracy, healthy tissues, cells, and organs remain unaffected by radiation. The therapy’s exact application allows your body to heal without internal collateral damage.
Less Recovery Time
A proton therapy session lasts between 15 to 45 minutes. As it is an outpatient procedure, you can go home immediately after the medical treatment. This procedure takes almost no recovery time, so you are free to resume your schedule after. Take note, though, that there are a few side effects to the therapy. Because of this, it is still advisable to take some rest right after the proton treatment.
Fewer Side Effects
Different prostate cancer treatments affect your body in various ways. Treating tumor cells is a hard battle, which often reflects in the patient’s body. Chemotherapy causes pain, hair loss, mouth sores, and tiredness, while hormone therapy results in loss of bone density, mood swings, and weight gain. Proton therapy, however, has fewer side effects than other procedures.
One you may experience immediately after your session is tiredness. This fatigue is due to the radiation eliminating the cancer cells in your body. Skin problems are also potential side effects in the affected area. These issues may include red patches, dryness, swelling, peeling, and blisters.
How Proton Therapy Affects the Prostate and Related Organs
The prostate is vital for the reproductive capabilities of the male anatomy. It can also affect the functions of the penis and the gastrointestinal tract. When it comes to the prostate, proton therapy presents minimal risks to the organ. The treatment also ensures that there fewer risks to neighboring parts and their functions.
The precise delivery of high-energy proton beams only targets the affected area. This focused scope prevents radiation damage to the bladder, which can cause incontinence.
Aside from urinary troubles, proton therapy also reduces the risk of impotence. Statistics show that prostate cancer patients remain sexually active after treatment. The procedure is safer than surgery, which often causes erectile dysfunction among men.
Compared to conformal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), the use of proton therapy also has fewer side effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Again, the accurate administration of radiation preserves the body’s normal digestive functions.
Consult a Medical Professional
Proton therapy improves the odds of fighting prostate cancer. It helps men recover from a life-threatening disease and reclaim their manhood. The procedure is safe and effective, plus it works well with other treatments. As stated above, it has minimal side effects, so there are low risks for your health and body. The therapy also allows you to function normally after each session as it has little to no recovery time.
Contact your local radiation doctor if you have any questions about photon therapy. Reach out to your nearest medical center, too, if you need to schedule an appointment.