August 11, 2015 admin

Proton therapy effective in treating esophageal cancer

Esophagus cancer is more common in men than women, and the most commonly known risk factor is being obese or overweight, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption.

There are two kinds of esophageal cancers namely, squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Symptoms of esophageal cancer:

  • Coughing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty with swallowing called dysphagia
  • A deep feeling of pain and burning sensation on chest

 How proton therapy works on esophageal cancer?

Proton therapy in esophageal cancer works differently from conventional X-ray radiation therapy, and the outcome of the treatment is much more effective. When proton therapy is applied in higher dose of radiation, the outcome in controlling and managing cancer has been successful and it reduces damage to healthy tissues. Conventional X-ray radiation has not  been effective in controlling cancer, because it is difficult to detect the pattern of irradiation; therefore, it can damage healthy tissues along with the cancerous cells.

Proton therapy is conducted using a machine called synchrotron or cyclotron, which speeds up protons. The speed of proton is related to amount of energy and physicians measure the depth of proton transmission in the body based on energy of proton. Once proton reaches the desired location in the body, they emit radiation dose directed to the tumor without destroying healthy cells.

In the conventional radiation therapy, the cancer treatment is done using radioactive energy rays called photons. For a photon to target cancerous tissue, the radiation has to pass through normal healthy tissues to reach cancer cells, and in the process both healthy and cancerous cells get damaged.

Proton therapy uses sub-atomic particles called protons, which accelerates at the range of 93,000 miles per second, where the proton is separated from atom. The particles move at high speed when high radiation dose is administered, destroying cancer cells with minimal damage to healthy tissues.

What to expect in proton therapy session?

Proton therapy is mostly done in an outpatient setting, which means the patient does not need to source hospital admission. The number of sessions conducted is dependent on the type and stage of cancer. When a high radiation dose proton therapy is administered in 1–5 sessions, it is called stereotactic body radiotherapy, and a single large radiation dose proton therapy session is called as radio surgery.

Effectiveness of proton therapy on esophageal cancer:

Proton therapy also known as proton beam therapy is a kind of medical procedure that involves administering of proton beams to irradiate diseased tissue. It is widely used in treatment of cancer, and the outcome of proton therapy in the treatment of esophageal cancer has been more effective based on experimental procedure carried out at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine. The results revealed lesser intensity of nausea, loss of appetite and blood abnormalities.

Pioneering services at MD Anderson Cancer Centre:

Texas Medical Concierge an established concierge firm works with MD Anderson Cancer Centre, a reputed hospital for cancer care. The center has state-of-the-art Proton Therapy Centre to treat cancer of brain, esophagus, liver, neck, head, lung, prostate cancer and so on.