For men with prostate cancer, the side effects of conventional radiation treatment (including CyberKnife/SBRT) can have important quality of life implications—particularly relating to urinary, gastrointestinal, and erectile function—as the organs controlling these functions also receive a lot of unnecessary radiation. Alternatively, proton therapy delivers considerably less radiation to healthy organs and tissues resulting in less frequent and/or less severe side effects, and often no side effects at all.
Proton therapy kills prostate cancer cells with a very high radiation dose. But because the protons are also highly targeted and are customized to travel to a specified depth in the body and then stop, they deliver more radiation to the prostate cancer and less to healthy organs surrounding the prostate gland, like the rectum, bowel, and bladder. As a result, proton therapy minimizes the likelihood of side effects and can better preserve your quality of life.