Prostate Cancer Treatment By Proton Therapy And Cost To Patients
Radiation therapy is one of the best treatments for prostate cancer because the procedure is so versatile in scope that the patient has the chance of getting the best benefits from the procedure. He however also has chance of reaping the worst complications that the treatment may offer because radiation does have its limitations and side effects, which include impotence and incontinence, not to mention diarrhea and blood in stools caused by radiation proctitis.
Patients treated by proton therapy are that much more fortunate than those treated with standard radiation therapy because protons are better able to aim at the tumors of the cancer without doing damage to other cells in the region, thereby making it possible for treatment to be administered with sincerely reduced side effects. Radiotherapy makes use of ionizing radiation of gamma rays or x-rays to do damage to the DNA of abnormal cancer cells; proton therapy simply makes use of protons.
Proton therapy is today described as a precise form of radiation therapy for cancer and other such conditions, which limits or minimizes the damage to healthy tissue and surrounding organs during the process of the treatment. As a result, proton therapy is highly successful and results in fewer side effects for the patient. Due to the precision of the treatment, the procedure is faster, which naturally causes the man to spend a shorter time in the hospital than he would have otherwise needed, and to recover more rapidly from the therapy.
In addition to the following, it has also been determined that proton therapy may reduce the risk of secondary cancers occurring after the primary one has been treated by the procedure.
A beam of protons was used instead of a scalpel in brain surgery for the first time at the Gustaf-Werner Institute for Nuclear Chemistry in Uppsala, Sweden, 1952 – that was the origin of proton therapy. The patient was conscious throughout the painless two-hour procedure; chronic acute pain and depression were relieved without the necessity of brain surgery, which a synchrocyclotron supplied the proton beam through a 60-ft-long tube; only the point of intersection got the full effect. The novel technique was developed at the University of California by Prof. C. A. Tobias who used it for pituitary gland operations. Today it is used to treat prostate cancer as well.
The cost of proton therapy for prostate cancer treatment at the moment is manageable in fact, coverable also by health insurance policies, so that the patient should not have to worry about expense.
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