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Types Of Prostate Cancer Treated At The New York Proton Center

Benefits of Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

The New York Proton Center treats the following prostate cancers and genitourinary cancers with proton therapy.

Localized prostate cancer, which includes stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3 cancer, that has not grown into nearby tissues or more distant body parts. There are three types:

  • Very-low-risk and low-risk prostate cancer, each of which are unlikely to grow or spread for a long time, if at all.
  • Intermediate-risk prostate cancer, which may grow or spread in a few years.
  • High-risk prostate, which has the highest likelihood of spreading and, even after treatment, recurring.

Prostate cancer will sometimes grow quickly and spread to lymph nodes, pea-sized pieces of tissue that filter a waste product called lymph. When this happens, a larger area needs to be targeted for treatment that includes the prostate gland and the lymph nodes. Proton therapy is particularly beneficial when treating large areas in the pelvis.

Data suggest that men who have undergone prostatectomy for prostate cancer may benefit from follow-up treatment with proton therapy, depending on several factors:

  • Seminal vesicle and lymph nodes involvement

Bladder cancers have a high correlation to prostate cancer. The types are named for the cells they affect, usually in the bladder wall.

Kidney cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in kidney tissue that eventually forms a tumor. Cells can break off from the tumor and spread to other tissue and organs. The most common kidney cancer is renal cell carcinoma.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor Radiographer Or Nurse

  • Will I have a planning session at a different time to the treatment, or immediately before?
  • Will I have external beam radiotherapy or hormone therapy as well?
  • What side effects might I get?
  • How will we know if the treatment has worked?
  • What should my PSA level be after treatment and how often will you test it?
  • If my PSA continues to rise, what other treatments are available?

Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy

Compared to earlier radiation methods, these modern techniques reduce the chance of urinary and bowel problems.

With several treatment options available, your doctor will work with you to develop and oversee a treatment plan that precisely addresses your prostate cancer while minimizing the risk to surrounding tissues.

This is why it is important to choose an experienced radiation oncologist who specializes in the management of prostate cancer. High volume centers where practitioners have significant experience and treat large numbers of patients with prostate cancer may be associated with good outcomes and fewer lasting problems related to treatment. The majority of patients who undergo radiation do not have permanent effects on bowel or urinary function, and patients who develop erectile difficulty after these therapies can often be treated successfully with medications such as sildenafil or tadalafil.

Radical Prostatectomy vs. Radiation: How to Compare the Results

Making a decision about prostate cancer treatment is not easy. When considering radiation therapy or radical prostatectomy, one of your top concerns is seeking reassurance that your cancer will be cured following treatment.

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Why Choose Memorial Sloan Kettering For Proton Therapy

  • MSK radiation oncologists have vast experience in using proton therapy. Over the last five years, our specialists have used proton therapy to treat more than 2,000 MSK patients with a range of cancers. This is far more than anyone else in the New York City region. MSKs radiation oncology group has been at the forefront of developing the treatment guidelines and training specialists at other institutions how to properly use protons.
  • Patients at MSK are cared for by a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts which includes radiation oncologists, medical physicists, oncologists, and surgeons that is among the most experienced in the world. This team will ensure that each patient receives the optimal treatment for his or her unique case.
  • The MSK radiation oncologists who practice at the New York Proton Center specialize in each type of cancer that can be treated effectively with proton therapy.
  • The NYPC offers pencil beam scanning, the most advanced and accurate form of proton therapy delivery.

External Beam Radiation Therapy


In EBRT, beams of radiation are focused on the prostate gland from a machine outside the body. This type of radiation can be used to try to cure earlier stage cancers, or to help relieve symptoms such as bone pain if the cancer has spread to a specific area of bone.

You will usually go for treatment 5 days a week in an outpatient center for at least several weeks, depending on why the radiation is being given. Each treatment is much like getting an x-ray. The radiation is stronger than that used for an x-ray, but the procedure typically is painless. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes, although the setup time getting you into place for treatment takes longer.

Newer EBRT techniques focus the radiation more precisely on the tumor. This lets doctors give higher doses of radiation to the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissues.

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Recovery From Proton Therapy

After being treated with the proton beam, most people can go home and resume their activities. For certain tumors, your doctor might order tests to see how the treatment is affecting the tumor, and adjust your treatment if necessary.

The Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center

Located at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., our center combines advanced proton therapy technology, the latest research and caring specialists who provide tailored treatments for a variety of adult and pediatric cancers.

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Obesity And Dietary Habits

High-fat intake, the Western diet, obesity, and sedentary behavior are all associated with a higher incidence of prostate cancer. High calcium intake and a diet high in milk products can increase the risk. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, calcium can increase the risk of aggressive types. On the other hand, whole milk increases the risk of recurrence of prostate cancer. Obese and overweight men are particularly prone to this increase in recurrence. Another dietary risk factor is vitamin D insufficiency. Meat consumption increases cancer risk, while fish consumption lowers the mortality rate.

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Advantages Of Proton Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Proton therapy has proven to show remarkable promise and advantages over conventional therapy-especially in the treatment of prostate cancer. Proton radiation therapys accuracy and the control it gives physicians in terms of adapting treatment make it a non-invasive and low-risk option for prostate cancer treatment.

What Is Proton Beam Therapy

Proton Therapy, IMRT, and SBRT | Mark Scholz, MD | PCRI

Proton beam therapy is a relatively new type of radiotherapy that uses tiny, high energy particles, so-called protons to target and kill cancer cells. It reduces the damage to surrounding healthy tissues and vital organs which is why certain groups of people such as young children or people whose cancer is close to vital organs benefit from the treatment. However, for other groups of patients or types of cancer, there has been little evidence of significantly improved treatment benefits, such as better cancer control and reduced side effects, than compared to conventional radiotherapy treatment.

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What Do Men Who Treated Their Prostate Cancer With Proton Therapy Do Once They Return Home They Party

In the fall of 2013, less than two years after finishing his proton therapy in Jacksonville, a South Carolina UF Health Proton Therapy Institute alumnus realized he knew of several other proton alumni who lived within a short drive of his home. So he and his wife decided to host a small local get-together. To be exact, they invited ten other local couples to their home for some proton-themed fun, food, adult beverages, and camaraderie.

The host was Ron Nelson, author of the book PROTONS versus Prostate Cancer: EXPOSED, over fifty articles for The After Proton Blog, and a frequent speaker at the Institutes prostate cancer clinics. Recalling the 2013 proton party, Ron said, It felt like a little taste of what we all appreciated so much while being treated in Jacksonville. Nothing quite compares with that feeling or the unique connection we developed with each other, having walked the same path.

Ron continued, The party was actually a completely uncharacteristic thing for me to do. Ive never been a party person, rarely went to them and certainly never hosted one. Im still not exactly sure why, but it somehow seemed like the thing to do. So we did.

What Is Proton Therapy Used For

While proton therapy is most often used to treat cancer, it can also be used to treat noncancerous tumors in children and adults. Proton beams can be used to treat tumors composed of different types of cells and located in different parts of the body some examples include:

Researchers are studying the potential benefits of proton beam therapy on different kinds of cancers.

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Recovering From Prostate Cancer Treatment

If youve been through first-line treatment but still have cancer, your doctor will adjust your treatment accordingly.

After surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, you may be cancer-free. However, youll still require monitoring for any signs of cancer recurrence. If youve been taking hormone therapy, you may also need to continue to do so.

Periodic prostate-specific antigen testing can help figure out the effectiveness of hormone therapy. The pattern of PSA levels can also help monitor for recurrence.

The process of recovery is different for everyone. Much of recovery depends on the stage of diagnosis and the extent of treatment. Your age and general health also play a role. Your doctor will take all these factors into consideration to give you an idea of what to expect, including:

  • the schedule for follow-up exams and tests
  • how to deal with short- and long-term side effects
  • diet and other lifestyle recommendations
  • signs and symptoms of recurrence

Its Been An Amazing Ride Year After Year Word Has Spread And Our Guest List Has Grown Beyond Anything Lucy Or I Ever Imagined This Year For Our Seventh Annual Empty Drink & Be Merry Celebration There Were Over Sixty Of Us Lucy And I Are Honored That So Many Survivors Have Come To Our Home Said Ron

Ensuring an Exceptional Patient Experience, Each and Every Day

And Rons little proton party is no longer strictly local. Some drive several hours within South Carolina, and weve even had guests from North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida who stay overnight in a hotel just so they can celebrate with this group of amazing people, said Ron. UF Proton deserves a lot of credit for instilling such patient unity, and we celebrate them as well as our good fortune in discovering proton therapy.

What does all this prove? Its simple, says Ron. Proton people are happy people who like to party together! That sums it up nicely.

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Benefits Of Proton Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Conventional radiation treatment is also known as photon treatment, which is different from proton therapy.

In conventional radiation treatment, high-energy X-rays are used to target and destroy cancer cells in the prostate. However, X-rays can damage healthy tissue as they pass through your body. This can lead to complications in nearby organs such as the bladder and rectum.

In proton therapy, radiation is delivered in proton beams. The key difference from X-rays is that proton beams stop once theyve delivered their energy to the target.

By using proton therapy, doctors can target prostate cancer more precisely and at great intensity with less risk of damaging surrounding tissue.

A Tailored Approach To Treating Prostate Cancer With Proton Therapy

Most proton centers treat prostate cancer with volumetric beams that deliver a fixed quantity of energy to the entire tumor and surrounding normal tissues. But the Pencil Beam Scanning technology available at the New York Proton Center uses intensity-modulated proton therapy, or IMPT.

IMPT is widely considered the most advanced form of proton therapy for prostate cancer. It delivers different radiation doses to different parts of the tumor based on its exact location, maximizing the chance of a cure while better protecting surrounding healthy tissue from radiation.

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When Do Doctors Use Proton Therapy

Due to its precision, doctors recommend using proton therapy when trying to spare healthy tissue near the tumor site.

For example, proton therapy has specific benefits in treating eye, brain stem, and spinal cord cancers. Saving healthy tissues in these sites is of the utmost importance.

Proton therapy offers a safe alternative to standard radiation therapy when treating early-stage breast cancer.

A doctor may recommend using radiation therapy after a lumpectomy or mastectomy to kill any remaining cancer cells. Proton therapy is especially advantageous when treating breast cancer on the left side because it presents less risk to the heart.

Proton beam therapy can also treat the following types of cancers:

  • head and neck cancers

Proton Therapy Advantages And Disadvantages

Proton Therapy Intermediate-Risk (Teal) Prostate Cancer | Prostate Cancer Staging Guide

Proton radiation may represent an incremental improvement over IMRT due to the reduced exposure of surrounding normal body tissues to radiation. Therefore, in the situations outlined above where IMRT would normally be considered, men may prefer to choose proton radiation over IMRT. The purported advantages of proton radiation over IMRT remain theoretical and clinically unproven. No head to head studies comparing the IMRT and proton radiation exist.

Disadvantages associated with proton radiation are related to its high cost and the fact that not all insurance programs cover proton radiation. In addition, there are relatively few centers doing proton radiation, so geographic inconvenience can be a major factor considering that numerous visits are required over a 5 to 9-week period.

Men considering treatment for prostate cancer need to do their homework. Side effects from radiation can be irreversible. The selection of optimal radiation varies with patient circumstances. Many factors need to be considered when radiation is contemplated.

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How Do I Know If I Am A Candidate For Proton Therapy

The key to proton therapy is to know when it truly is the best treatment option. The medical care team at MSK has experience and access to every form of modern radiation therapy and will recommend proton therapy when it is truly the best choice for the patient.

To find out if proton therapy is right for you, call .

Pioneers Of Proton Therapy

Working with the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory , Mass General physicians became the first in the world to discover how to harness the extraordinary physical characteristics of high energy protons for medical care. By using protons rather than conventional x-rays , physicians could increasingly concentrate radiation energy in tumors and intended targets, reducing radiation dose and damage to nearby healthy tissue.

As part of the largest hospital-based research program in the country, we have led, and continue to lead, many studies to define the best use of proton therapy for clinical care. Learn more about our groundbreaking proton therapy research.

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Possible Risks And Side Effects Of Brachytherapy

Radiation precautions: If you get permanent brachytherapy, the seeds will give off small amounts of radiation for several weeks or months. Even though the radiation doesnt travel far, your doctor may advise you to stay away from pregnant women and small children during this time. If you plan on traveling, you might want to get a doctors note regarding your treatment, as low levels of radiation can sometimes be picked up by detection systems at airports.

There’s also a small risk that some of the seeds might move . You may be asked to strain your urine for the first week or so to catch any seeds that might come out. You may be asked to take other precautions as well, such as wearing a condom during sex. Be sure to follow any instructions your doctor gives you. There have also been reports of the seeds moving through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, such as the lungs. As far as doctors can tell, this is uncommon and doesnt seem to cause any ill effects.

These precautions arent needed after HDR brachytherapy, because the radiation doesnt stay in the body after treatment.

Bowel problems: Brachytherapy can sometimes irritate the rectum and cause a condition called radiation proctitis. Bowel problems such as rectal pain, burning, and/or diarrhea can occur, but serious long-term problems are uncommon.

How Does It Work

Patient Stories â Tennessee Cancer Patient Coalition

When doses of protons enter a tumor, they deposit most of their energy at a specific target, destroying cancerous cells and preserving surrounding healthy tissue. This differs from conventional radiation therapy because a less significant dose of protons enter the body, therefore reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissue and critical organs. The result is a smaller chance for side effects and secondary cancers. With proton therapy for prostate cancer, treatments typically take only 15 to 20 minutes each day and are delivered five days a week for approximately eight weeks.

There is little to no recovery time after treatment, and the risk of immediate post-treatment impotency is minimized, especially in those with good sexual function prior to treatment. Most patients tolerate the treatments extremely well and are able to continue to work, exercise and remain sexually active during their treatment course and immediately after treatment is complete.

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What Happens During The Procedure

Before the procedure takes place, doctors use MRI scans or CT scans to locate areas that need treatment. A technician marks the treatment locations on the skin.

The treatment takes place in a specialized facility equipped with a particle accelerator and a table for the person to lay down on.

A specially trained technician will operate the particle accelerator and ensure the personâs safety during treatment.

The whole procedure lasts about 15â30 minutes. This includes the time it takes for the person to get into position and for the technician to make any last adjustments to the equipment. The proton beam exposure only lasts a few minutes.

People usually receive multiple rounds of proton therapy. However, since proton beams can deliver higher doses of radiation with more accuracy, proton therapy usually requires fewer treatments than standard radiation therapy.


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