What is Proton Therapy?
A form of radiation therapy, proton therapy uses high energy beams to treat tumors. Traditionally, X-rays have been used to treat tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous. But, now positively charged particles called protons are also being used for the treatment.
As compared to X-rays, proton radiations have been proven to show less side effects. This is also because the doctors have the control over the radiations and where they accumulate. But, a question that remains unanswered is the effect of proton therapy on extending life duration.
Why use Proton Therapy?
Proton therapy as mentioned previously is used to treat diseases such as cancer and non-cancerous tumors. It may be used independently or in sync with other treatments such as surgery.
Proton therapy is used to treat diseases like breast cancer, brain tumor, eye melanoma, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, sarcoma, prostate cancer, and tumors in the spine and base of the skull.
The process is carried out for 5 days every week for multiple weeks. Each session lasts between 30-45 minutes. There are two different types of machines that are used. In a Gantry machine, you will slide into a circular machine and be moved to accurately point to the affected area. In a fixed beam machine, the lasers will be pointed at the affected area and the radiations will be used to treat the affected area.
What are the Risks Involved?
Radiations carry their own risks and so does proton therapy. The most common risks arise when the cancer cells die or when the healthy tissue is damaged.
As compared to traditional radiation therapy, proton therapy carries lesser risk as the control of the radiations is with the doctor. But this does not imply that it does not damage the healthy tissue at all. While the side effects depend highly on the part of the body being treated and the amount of radiations being released, there are some common visible side effects. These include:
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Mouth, eating and digestion disorders
- Loss of hair around the part of the body that is being treated
- Skin redness and soreness around the body area being treated
Proton Therapy in India
India is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to medical facilities and offers state-of-the-art medical services at very affordable prices. In addition to highly trained medical professionals, technologically advanced medical instruments, high-end infrastructure, the treatment offered is affordable when compared to other developed nations. The proton therapy cost India offers is way less and the treatment package includes costs born before the procedure as well as post recovery. The cost varies between different hospitals and clinics. Some prominent proton therapy hospitals in India are Max super specialty hospital, Vaishali, Venkateshwar hospital, and Max super specialty hospital, Parpatganj.
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