Three Advantages Of Proton Therapy When Treating Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer can be a difficult diagnosis for a man to face. Of course, any type of cancer is frightening — but when caught at the right time, prostate cancer is very much treatable. What worries many men about prostate cancer as opposed to other types of cancer isn’t just the risk to their life, but the side effects that can occur after treatment. Unfortunately, many treatments for prostate cancer have the side effect of impotence. Men worry about their sex lives being affected by treatments — and this isn’t a shallow concern. A man’s ability to perform sexually does affect his quality of life, and it’s true that many of the more aggressive prostate cancer treatments available do negatively impact a man’s sex drive, as well as the rest of his overall health. While surgery and chemotherapy may be inevitable in some cases, there are alternatives to traditional radiation therapy when it comes to prostate cancer options. The issue with traditional radiation therapy when it comes to treating prostate cancer is that often, the radiation will affect parts of the body aside from the tumor; this can be a major contributing factor to impotence for men suffering from prostate cancer. Luckily, proton therapy for prostate cancer is, in many cases, a viable alternative. Yet many men don’t know what proton therapy is, let alone how it affects their life after being treated for cancer. Below, we’ll look at some of the advantages of proton therapy for prostate cancer.

1. Proton Treatments Are Targeted And Fast

As we mentioned earlier, traditional radiation therapy can move beyond the tumor and affect other parts of the body. In contrast, proton therapy for prostate cancer will target the tumor more specifically, and be less likely to affect other parts of the body. This means that there will be a smaller risk of harmful side effects to the patient’s health. For that matter, this also means that the therapy is, in some cases, more efficient. Usually, proton therapy occurs about four to six weeks after surgery or chemotherapy; it then lasts for six weeks. Each session will last, typically, for 15 to 45 minutes — but the protons are only being delivered to the tumor for a minute or two. Not only does this mean that the treatment is more targeted — it also means that the session will be less stressful for the patient, and in general a more relaxed experience. The patient certainly has less to worry about when it comes to proton therapy for prostate cancer.

2. It Works

Of course, we wouldn’t recommend a cancer treatment that doesn’t effectively treat cancer — but in regards to prostate cancer in particular, the results for proton therapy have been particularly good. Research has indicated that 99%, 94%, and 74% of men with low, intermediate, and high risk prostate cancer patients have reported that there have been no signs of cancer in their five-year follow ups after proton therapy. Of course, this doesn’t mean that proton therapy can be used alone. Depending on your specific case, you will most likely have to receive other treatments like chemotherapy and surgery. But proton therapy mixes the aggressiveness of intense treatments with the lack of side-effects seen in gentler treatments. Basically, it means that you’re less likely to have your body break down due to the treatment — while at the same time being effectively treated for cancer.

3. There Are Lower Rates Of Impotence

Again, impotence is a major concern for men being treated for prostate cancer; and it’s a valid concern. While choosing proton therapy isn’t guaranteed to help reduce your risk of impotence, the results have been positive compared to those of traditional radiation therapy. In fact, researchers have found that 94% of men who have been treated for prostate cancer using this method have been sexually active following their treatment. Proton therapy means being treated without giving up your quality of life.

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