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Esophageal cancers FAQs

These answers to frequently asked questions can help you decide whether proton therapy for esophageal cancer is right for you. You can also contact us directly for more information.

What are the benefits of proton therapy for esophageal tumors?

Proton therapy for esophageal cancer allows a higher radiation dose to be delivered directly to the tumor while less radiation is delivered to surrounding healthy tissues and organs. Specifically, the heart, lungs, and healthy abdominal organs receive significantly less radiation, greatly reducing the risk of short- and long-term side effects involving these essential organs.


A randomized control trial has shown that proton therapy is safe and effective for both operable and non-operable esophageal cancers with significantly less toxicity as compared to traditional photon radiation.

Are there side effects?

Side effects of proton therapy depend on the location of the tumor and the types of healthy tissue near the tumor. The most common side effects of radiation therapy for upper GI tumors are fatigue, skin irritation, and nausea.

Can I have proton therapy if I had previous radiation for another type of cancer?

Yes—patients who previously received radiation are good candidates for proton therapy because proton therapy minimizes exposure to healthy tissue and organs. This is extremely important as the human body can only tolerate a certain amount of radiation over a lifetime. Reducing the cumulative dose to the normal tissues may reduce the risk of side effects and allow for more radiation dose to be focused to the tumor, allowing for a better chance of a cure.

How many treatments are required?

The number of treatments varies according to the unique characteristics of your tumor. However, treatment is usually administered five days a week for between one to six weeks.


Download a pdf about proton therapy for esophageal cancer.

How can we help?

Want to find out if proton therapy might be a good fit for you or your patient? Call us at 833-NYPROTON (833-697-7686) or fill out the appropriate form below.