Proton Therapy Treatment Abroad
roton therapy is a type of external beam therapy which generates beams that penetrate the patient's body. This therapy is used to deliver high doses of radiation precisely to the tumor and kill all cancerous cells without affecting the surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
This type of therapy is successfully used for patients who have solid tumors, with defined borders. This means that the cancer has not yet spread to other organs and that it can be easily targeted and killed. Proton therapy can be used for numerous types of cancer, such as liver, prostate, lung, brain, esophagus, lymphoma, as well as pediatric cancers.
Proton beam therapy is offered on an outpatient basis, and consists of 20 to 25 visits for 4 to 5 weeks. One session lasts about 60 minutes.
A tissue is made of molecules and atoms and in the center of each atom there is the nucleus. Negatively charged electrons are orbiting the nucleus and when protons or other energized charged particles or forms of radiation pass near the near orbiting electrons, the protons' positive charge will attack the negatively charged electrons and pull them out of their orbits.
This process is called ionization and its purpose is to change the atom's characteristics and the properties of the molecule within which the atom resides. Ionization damages the DNA, destroying specific cell functions, especially their ability to divide and multiply. Enzymes will then develop trying to rebuild the damaged areas of the DNA, but when radiation damage is too extensive they will not be able to repair the injury.
Both cancerous ad normal cells go through the repairing process, but the ability of cancer cells to repair is inferior compared to the normal ones. That is why cancer cells will sustain more permanent damage.
There is a huge difference between standard radiation treatment and the proton therapy. Indeed, in sufficient doses x-ray radiation techniques can control many types of cancer, but unfortunately healthy tissues will receive a similar dose of radiation, damaging them. That is why a less than needed dose is used to reduce side effects and the damage to healthy tissues.
When it comes to proton therapy, higher doses of radiation can be effectively used to control cancer, while reducing the damage caused to vital organs and healthy tissues. The major advantage of this therapy is that the energy distribution of protons can be directed exactly on the tumor, which means greater control, precision and management of the treatment. Protons will release maximum energy only when they reach the designated cancer volume, which means that the surrounding healthy cells receive significantly less injury.
Proton therapy is currently available only in several highly industrialized countries such as the US, Canada, the UK, Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.
The cost for proton therapy is slightly more expensive compared to Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, but the long-term cost may be much less because patients may experience fewer side effects so a reduced necessity for treatment or medication.
The price varies depending on the number of fractions needed, the country and center where the treatment is given, the condition of the patient, etc. The costs for Proton Therapy starts from $150,000.
Fortunately, Proton therapy is covered in the United States by Medicare and many other insurance providers. The rate set by Medicare will pay for the medical facility, equipment, personnel, supplies, geographic location and other direct and indirect expenses.
If you want to find out more about Proton therapy, do not hesitate to contact us!
Cancer Treatment Abroad, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer