Proton Therapy Benefits Prostate Cancer Treatment
Publication: Texas Monthly
July 01, 2023
Known as a silent killer because men often do not have symptoms in early stages, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men other than skin cancer. In Texas, an estimated 17,230 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2023, with 2,290 expected deaths.
Men age 65 and older account for about 60% of all diagnosed prostate cancer cases, and the likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases after age 50. Additionally, men with a family history of prostate cancer are also at increased risk. If prostate cancer is detected carly and before the cancer spreads, patients have a nearly 100% chance of survival after five years.
Treating Prostate Cancer with Proton Therapy
Treatment for prostate cancer varies depending on the stage and grade of the cancer and if it has spread to other body parts. Proton therapy delivers extremely precise, high doses of radiation directly to tumors, working to eliminate cancer cells while minimizing exposure to non-targeted, healthy tissue.
This precision benefits patients that require treatment to the prostate gland only or to larger target volumes such as those involving lymph nodes.
Other notable benefits of proton treatment for prostate cancer:
Proton therapy is non-invasive and may result in fewer side effects including incontinence and rectal/bowel side effects
Patients can maintain their current quality of life during and after treatment
Compared to intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), proton therapy patients are exposed to less overall radiation which has been shown to reduce the risk of late secondary cancers
Tips for Screening and Prevention of Prostate Cancer
Men should consider regular prostate screenings beginning at age 50 or in their mid-40's if they have one or more first degree relatives with prostate cancer (e.g. father, brother, son).
For patients with a new or recurrent prostate cancer diagnosis, a new imaging modality known as prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET, is now available at Texas Center for Proton Therapy. The imaging study helps detect prostate cancer cells in the prostate and other parts of the body.
Healthy lifestyle habits also play a key role in preventing prostate cancer early, when it is most treatable, such as:
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
Reducing consumption of foods high in fat or dairy
Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight
For more information visit, WhatIsProtonTherapy.com.
This article originally appeared in Texas Monthly.