Proton Therapy

Advanced, non-invasive cancer treatment gets you back to everyday activities quickly

What is proton therapy?

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses high-energy protons to target and destroy cancer cells with extreme precision. Proton therapy is a highly advanced and targeted type of radiation therapy that provides a higher radiation dose to the cancer while decreasing the dose to the healthy, surrounding tissues. This means that cancerous tumors may shrink more quickly, while the rest of your body can stay healthy.

Also known as proton beam therapy, this treatment is a highly advanced and precise form of radiation. With proton therapy, you can continue normal daily activities during treatment and maintain your quality of life.

Unlike traditional radiation therapy, proton therapy minimizes damage to healthy tissue and reduces the risk of side effects. It is particularly effective in treating complex tumors located near critical structures to minimize the potential for long-term side effects.

Who is a candidate for proton therapy?

Proton therapy is used to treat a variety of cancers. It is a highly precise treatment that uses a beam of protons to target cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

To be considered a candidate for proton therapy, you must meet certain criteria. Proton therapy may be recommended by your oncologist if you:

  • Have a localized, solid tumor near a critical organ, such as those found in the following areas:
    • skull base
    • brain
    • breast
    • esophagus
    • eyes
    • head and neck
    • liver
    • lung
    • pancreas
    • prostate
    • pelvis
    • spinal cord
  • Have received conventional radiation in the past, but your tumors have come back.

Your doctor will evaluate your individual case to determine if you are a good candidate for proton therapy. They will consider factors such as the type and stage of your cancer, your overall health and treatment goals.

What to expect in proton therapy

Before the treatment

  • You will be positioned comfortably on the treatment table.
  • A mask will be placed over your face to help you breathe during the treatment.
  • The proton therapy team will position the treatment machine around you.

During the treatment

  • The proton therapy machine will deliver a precise beam of radiation to the tumor.
  • You may feel a slight tingling or warmth during the treatment.
  • The treatment will last for a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size and location of the tumor.

After the treatment

  • You will be monitored for a short time.
  • You may experience some fatigue or skin irritation.
  • Most people can resume their normal activities the next day.

Benefits of proton therapy

Proton therapy offers a number of benefits that can improve the lives of patients battling cancer, including:

  • Reduced side effects: Proton therapy is a targeted form of radiation that spares healthy tissue and organs from damage. This can reduce the risk of side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting and hair loss.
  • Improved quality of life: Proton therapy can help patients maintain their quality of life during treatment. Because it is more precise than traditional radiation therapy, proton therapy allows patients to experience fewer side effects and recover more quickly. This can allow them to continue to work, go to school and enjoy their hobbies.
  • Increased survival rates: Proton therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of cancers, including those that are resistant to traditional radiation therapy. This can give patients hope for a longer, healthier life.
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A unique treatment

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses protons instead of photons to target cancer cells. This allows for more precise treatment, reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissue and minimizing side effects.

Leading-edge technology

WellSpan is one of the few centers in the country offering proton therapy. Our state-of-the-art facility is equipped with the latest technology, including a pencil beam scanning system that delivers proton therapy with pinpoint accuracy.

Exceptional care team

Our team of radiation oncologists, physicists and dosimetrists are experts in proton therapy. They have extensive experience and are dedicated to providing the best possible care for our patients.

Personalized treatment plans

Every patient is unique, and so is their cancer. We develop individualized treatment plans that take into account the type and stage of cancer, as well as the patient's overall health and preferences.

Comprehensive support services

We offer a range of support services to help our patients through their cancer journey, including nutrition counseling, social work and financial assistance.