Proton therapy is a form of radiation therapy that is used to destroy cancer cells. It provides a targeted beam of radiation to an affected area so that damage to healthy tissues can be minimized.
Here are some of the pros and cons of proton therapy to consider.
List of the Pros of Proton Therapy
1. It provides precise radiation therapy.
Proton therapy can provide extreme targeting of cancer cells that would normally be difficult to appropriately treat. It provides an option to treat tumors that are near vital organs or children who need their developing structures to be preserved.
2. It treats a comprehensive range of cancers.
Compared to other treatment options, proton therapy is more of a universal option for those diagnosed with cancer. It is used to precisely target tumors and the match treatments to the exact size of the tumor.
3. It has a short life.
Proton therapy has a low radiation risk compared to other radioactive treatment methods for cancer. After a treatment session, a patient can leave their treatment room without exposed others to radiation.
4. It can allow people to maintain an active lifestyle.
Most people are able to maintain their activities while being treated with proton therapy. That includes being able to maintain their employment.
List of the Cons of Proton Therapy
1. There are no comparative studies.
No studies exist that appropriately compare proton therapy to traditional therapy options for treating cancer. In 2010, a report issued by the ECRI Institute concluded that proton therapy was only appropriate in about 15% of all cancer cases.
2. Dosing levels can be inconsistent.
Individuals have different treatment needs. The lack of data with this treatment option is another concern. There are few best practices available with proton therapy simply because optimal dosing must come through a trial and error process.
3. It is costly.
In August 2010, Hampton University opened a proton therapy center at the cost of $225 million. The average cost of a facility that treats just 4-5 people can cost $150 million. Even a single-suite option is upwards of $30 million.
Being diagnosed with cancer can be a devastating experience. These proton therapy pros and cons show that even in difficult circumstances, there is still hope to be found.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.