Proton beam therapy is radiation therapy that uses heavier particles instead of the X-rays
So, the facility will also be an alternative to conventional radiotherapy for treating certain cancer. But what is traditional radiotherapy, and how will access to proton beam therapy improve how we manage cancer?
What is radiotherapy?
Radiotherapy, together with surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care, are the cornerstones of cancer treatment. Radiotherapy is recommended for half of cancer patients.
It is mostly used when the cancer is localised to one or more areas. Depending on the cancer site and stage, radiotherapy can be used alone or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. It can be used before or after other treatments to make them more effective by, for example, shrinking the tumour before chemotherapy or treating cancer that remains after surgery.
How it works
Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays in 1895 and within a year, the link between exposure to too much radiation and skin burns led scientists and doctors to pursue radiation in cancer treatment..
For early-stage lung cancer studies estimate with radiotherapy, survival three years after diagnosis is at 95%. For prostate cancer, one study estimates survival at the five year mark is about 93%.