If every cancer patient qualified and had access to precisions non-invasive cancer treatments like a targeted therapy, there are some doctors who believe that recovery rates would be significantly higher. If the DNA sequence of a tumor is a match to the available treatment, in fact, many patients might be able to get the care that they need, while at the same time avoiding many of the typical side effects that are associated with traditional chemotherapy and radiation. By sequencing the biopsies that most patients already have on record, doctors that practice precision targeted therapy helps allow doctors the opportunity to determine where the cancer really is.
For instance, patients that are initially diagnosed as having stomach cancer may be able to find out through this DNA sequencing the actual source of the cancer. Just as a license plate may only signal the state where someone lives, initial tests may indicate a current showing of cancer in the stomach, but not what kind of cancer is present. And like a generic state license plate does not always indicate exactly what city or county someone resides in, the DNA sequence testing can show more specifics.
Targeted therapy is exactly what it sounds like. It works by targeting the genes, proteins, and enzymes, leaving the healthy cells alone. And while all of the side effects of other more invasive treatments will not be completely eliminated, the side effects are considerably diminished. There is no down side to being tested for this approach, and if you qualify as the 5% for targeted therapy treatment, you will save the time that needs to be committed to longer and more difficult traditional chemo and radiation.
Finding the Best Cancer Cure Is the Goal of an Expanding Number of Non-Invasive Cancer Treatment Centers
Still a fairly new and developing process, proton therapy is a targeted type of radiation that stops at a very specific point in the targeted tissue. Conventional radiation, in comparison, continues beyond the tumor. In breast cancer, this means on average no radiation to the heart and on average 50% less radiation to the lung as compared with conventional radiation. As doctors, researchers, and scientists continue to study the causes of cancer and ways to determine the exact location and cause of cancer, there are just as many medical specialists who are looking at the most effective treatment options.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the many ways that cancer treatment continues to cater to the specific needs of patients:
- Proton therapy decreases the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures by as much as 59% when compared to X-rays.
- A proton treatment session typically lasts 15 to 45 minutes; however, the actual time spent delivering the protons to the tumor is generally only one or two minutes.
- Researchers report that 99%, 94 percent and 74 percent of men treated with proton therapy with low risk prostrate cancer have no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow-up. For patients with intermediate risk they percentage is 94, and high risk prostate cancer conditions are still 74%,
- With brain tumors making up the majority of these numbers, approximately 23,800 adults and 4,830 children are diagnosed with cancerous tumors of the brain and spinal cord each year.
- With 94% of men reporting they remain sexually active after treatment, proton therapy’s targeted approach studies have found prostate cancer patients treated using this method have a significantly reduced risk of impotence.
- Percentages can vary from one type of cancer to another, but proton therapy decreases the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures by at least 59% when it is compared to X-rays.
With numbers continuing to grow, more than 30 particle proton therapy centers, with a total of about 80 treatment rooms, were under construction worldwide at the beginning of 2015. No news about a cancer diagnosis is good, but it is important to know that there are a number of patients who are finding more hope in the non-invasive cancer treatment options that are available. By working with the latest non-invasive cancer treatments, some types of cancer respond more positively to targeted therapy approaches limiting collateral damage to the rest of the body. Talking to doctors about all of the available cancer treatment therapy is essential.