Proton therapy is effective in treating many types of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
Thanks to advances in radiation therapy, your child can experience less risk of side effects in fighting cancer.1,2
When your child is diagnosed with cancer, all you care about is fighting it. That is Oklahoma Proton Center’s primary focus too. We know choosing the right cancer treatment for your child isn’t easy. After all, children aren’t adults and their cancer treatment needs to accommodate and adapt to their smaller, growing bodies. Fortunately, proton therapy from Oklahoma Proton Center has proven to be a powerful weapon to help your child in his or her fight against cancer.
What are the advantages of proton therapy for children with cancer? Proton therapy’s greater precision and reduced risk of side effects are especially advantageous for children, who are much more susceptible to the damage caused by radiation than adults because of their smaller size and growing bodies.
You want to fight your child’s cancer the best way possible. When you choose proton therapy to fight your child’s cancer, you help reduce his or her risk of secondary radiation-induced cancer and developmental abnormalities caused by radiation to critical structures and organs. Proton therapy delivers radiation doses directly to the tumor, avoiding surrounding healthy tissue and organs. In contrast, X-rays pass right through the body, penetrating well beyond tumors, and depositing radiation in healthy tissues beyond the affected area.1,2
Call for a consultation today to learn more about the many benefits of treating your child’s cancer with proton therapy. We’d be happy to walk through the details with you.
The good news is the vast majority of children treated for childhood cancers will be cured of their disease. Unfortunately, some childhood cancer survivors will later develop a new cancer as a result of their exposure to radiation, often decades after their initial treatment. Children are more likely to develop these radiation-induced secondary tumors than adults, and the risk is directly related to the amount of normal, healthy tissue that receives radiation.
Studies published in the medical literature show that using proton therapy is likely to reduce the risk of radiation-induced cancers substantially, even when compared to the most sophisticated forms of traditional (X-ray) radiation, such as IMRT. Additionally, some experts have estimated that the risk of a secondary tumor with IMRT is at least 8 times greater than with proton therapy for children with medulloblastoma.3
In short, no. Proton therapy’s reduced radiation dose to normal tissues can also reduce the risk of other complications, such as developmental abnormalities. For example, proton therapy treatment for brain cancers can reduce the dose to critical structures, such as the hippocampus, hypothalamus, temporal lobes, and cochlea, compared to traditional (X-ray) therapy.
Most pediatric patients have few, or very mild, side effects from proton therapy. If your child does experience any side effects, these can usually be managed with medications.
Depending on your child’s diagnosis, treatments are usually given 5 days a week for a period of 4 to 7 weeks. The time spent actually delivering the protons to the tumor is about 60 seconds, but a pediatric cancer treatment session can range from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on your child’s needs.
Since a patient receiving proton radiation therapy does not feel, see, or hear anything, the treatment is pain-free. As a result, most children will be able to lie still for the duration of the treatment. However, sedation is occasionally administered if we feel it’s necessary to ensure your child remains still during the treatment.
Most children are able to participate in normal activities before and after their daily treatments.
Most insurance plans cover the cost of proton therapy for treating childhood cancers. Contact your insurance provider directly or call us for more information.