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Proton therapy is a precise form of radiation treatment that targets your tumor without delivering harmful excess radiation to the surrounding tissue. This allows your physician to treat the cancer while helping protect the heart and lungs because protecting these vital organs is practically as important as treating your tumor.
— Tina, breast cancer patient
Standard X-ray radiation therapy for breast cancer has helped save lives for decades. But it can also send a dose of radiation to nearby healthy tissue. This can lead to side effects, like coronary artery disease, lung scarring, secondary cancers (cancers that are caused by treatment) and higher risk of major heart events later in life. On top of this, some chemotherapy can be toxic to the heart, raising risks even more.
Until recently, patients and physicians accepted these side effects as a trade-off for treating the cancer. But with proton radiation therapy, we can reduce the risks. Proton therapy sends radiation to your tumor very accurately. The goal is for less radiation to reach your healthy tissue nearby.
Proton therapy uses a unique feature of protons: They give off the most radiation right before they come to a stop. Then the radiation falls to zero. That’s how we target treatment to your cancer and no further.
If you have breast cancer, the radiation oncologists at our proton therapy facility can decide if proton therapy is right for you and tell you more about this option.
Our radiation oncologists use pencil-beam scanning (PBS) to treat patients with proton therapy. PBS “paints” the tumor with a lot of very thin, very exact beams of protons. The beams are accurate down to millimeters. PBS sends very fast pulses of protons to each planned spot within the tumor until the entire cancer is treated. This method can lower the amount of radiation to healthy tissue even more.
Our proton therapy team is here not only to treat your disease, but to listen to you and take care of you and your family. They are experts in proton therapy who focus on giving you personalized treatment and who understand your questions, needs and concerns.