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Proton Therapy for Cancer

What Is Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy is an advanced type of radiation therapy used to treat some cancers. Its precise delivery of radiation to the tumor site means there is less risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Why Is Proton Therapy Done?

Proton therapy (also called proton beam therapy) is most commonly used to shrink solid tumors that have not spread to other parts of the body. It's an effective treatment for many childhood cancers, including:

  • brain tumors
  • sarcomas (cancers that grow in
  • tumors in the head, neck, eyes, and spinal cord
  • lymphomas (cancers that affect

Proton therapy is sometimes used along with other cancer treatments, such as standard radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.

How Does Proton Therapy Work?

Proton therapy uses protons (positively charged particles) instead of X-rays. A special machine speeds up the protons. These high-energy protons can get rid of cancer cells, which makes tumors shrink. Protons are easier to get to a specific location than the X-rays used in standard radiation therapy.

How Is Proton Therapy Different From Radiation Therapy?

The X-ray beams used in standard radiation therapy go beyond the