Cancer is one of the world’s greatest problems, affecting countless people and their families, causing financial hardship and suffering. Whether that cancer comes in the form of breast cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, or others, it remains a condition that strikes at the heart of America.
Fortunately, a new solution is growing and it can be shown in the advancement of treatment for prostate cancer, a type of cancer that affects men in the gland that produces seminal fluid. Here are some quick facts about prostate cancer to show how the treatment has most likely benefited patients:
- The usual onset for prostate cancer is men above the age of 50.
- There are 1.1 million new cases each year.
- It is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men worldwide.
There are many degrees of severity for prostate cancer, including those who are high-risk and may look into treatment options, while some who are low-risk and may just want monitoring of the condition, as it is possible it will not affect any other part of their life.
There is also a weighing of pros and cons, as treatment can affect other functions of the body, including sexual function through erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence. It depends then, on the discussion between the patient and the doctor.
For those that choose treatment, treatment of prostate cancer can include radiation therapy or surgery. Unfortunately, these pose the own possible issues, as radiation therapy can damage certain parts of the male body and surgery can be technically challenging in this part of the body and can lead to damaging side effects.
One treatment of prostate cancer that is gaining some advocates in the field of medicine is proton therapy. Proton therapy is a type of radiation that stops at a very specific point in the targeted tissue. Conventional radiation therapy for instance goes beyond the tumor into the general cells.
Researchers saw in three surveys that men who had undergone proton therapy–99%, 94%, and 74%, respectively–saw no signs of prostate cancer in a five year follow up survey. And studies have found that due to proton therapy’s targeted approached, there is significant decline in side effects from treatment, including impotency, as 94% of men said they were still sexually active after treatment.
Fortunately, proton therapy goes beyond the treatment options for prostate cancer. There is the possibility or current application of proton therapy for breast cancer, proton therapy for brain cancer, proton therapy for head and neck cancer and general proton treatment.
It’s gaining traction within the medical field as a safer and still effective way of treating cancer. At the beginning of 2015, more than 30 particle therapy centers, which contained over 80 treatment rooms, were under construction.
The treatment of prostate cancer through proton therapy has shown the possibly amazing benefits within cancer treatment for using targeted radiation that stays within the tumor, rather than moving into other tissues or parts of the body.