Proton Therapy Treatment for Breast Cancer
Recent studies have concluded that cure rates following external beam proton therapy are the same as regular radiation. Proton therapy directs the radiation dose to the tumor, precisely targeting the area with pinpoint accuracy. Proton therapy reduces the amount of radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissuessuch as the lungs, heart, lymphatic system and the other breast Non-invasive, painless and well tolerated by patients, proton therapy serves patients with an accuracy of <1 mm and requires just minutes to administer.
In many cases, women with early stage breast cancers do not have a significant benefit to the use of proton therapy compared to traditional photon radiation. The patients who may benefit the most from proton therapy are those with advanced, lymph node positive disease where we need to treat the lymph node areas, particularly the lymph node chains under the breast bone, close to the heart. We think about it more for women with left-sided disease as the heart lies anatomically on the left side of the chest. Women under 40 years old who are diagnosed with breast cancer are also excellent candidates for proton therapy as we want to limit exposure and reduce long-term implications. It is also the radiation therapy of choice for women with genetic mutations such as BRCA 1, 2 where there is a high risk of developing another cancer in the future. Lastly, proton therapy is indicated for patients who have undergone prior radiation to the chest whether for breast cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer or others. If you are unsure if you or a patient are a good candidate for proton therapy, please contact us for a consultation.
Long Term Impact