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Proton therapy for prostate cancer

Proton therapy is a form of radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer

Conventional radiation therapy forms a significant part in the treatment of prostate cancer. Low grade early stage prostate cancer can be cured by radiation alone. Radiation to treat Locally advanced cancer or prostate cancer that has spread only to the surrounding tissues along with hormone therapy greatly prolong life. But radiation therapy carries significant side effects as the rays also burns the surrounding tissues like bladder and rectum. Significant modifications have evolved it conventional radiation therapy like IMRT, CYBER KNIFE. These newer modifications significantly reduce the dose to the surrounding tissues thus lessen the side effects.

In proton therapy radiation is delivered using proton beams. This is the newest technique and very promising. The main difference from conventional radiation therapy is that in proton therapy proton beams stop once they have delivered their energy to the target tissue. Thus radiation oncologist can target the cancer area with great intensity and precision with less chance of damaging surrounding tissues. Studies have shown that patients treated with proton therapy has significantly less side effects in comparison to conventional radiation treatment. 

Success or cure rate of early stage localised prostate cancer is same with proton or conventional radiation therapy.  Proton therapy is a newer technique and not widely available; it’s expensive. Long term results is yet to be known. However early results clearly shows success rates comparable to other forms of radiation therapy with minimal side effects.

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