These answers to frequently asked questions can help you decide whether proton therapy for prostate cancer is right for you. You can also contact us directly for more information.
Radiation therapy is a common treatment for prostate cancer. However, the side effects of traditional (photon) radiation treatment can have quality of life implications, including urinary, bowel and erectile dysfunction. Studies have shown that proton therapy can reduce the likelihood of these side effects. Proton therapy radiation:
Proton therapy can treat most forms of prostate cancer including:
Proton therapy may be recommended following prostatectomy surgery depending on factors such as Gleason score, seminal vesicle and lymph node involvement, or PSA level.
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of proton therapy for prostate cancer to consistently be as good or better than traditional (photon) radiation therapy. These studies also indicate reduced toxicities to nearby healthy organs and tissues. For example, in one study of over 1,400 men with prostate cancer, men who received IMRT (traditional radiation) reported more moderate or major problems with rectal urgency and frequent bowel movements compared with those who received proton therapy (Hoppe BS, et. al. Cancer. 2014;120(7):1076-82.).
Side effects of proton therapy depend on the part of the body receiving treatment, the tumor size and the types of healthy tissues near the tumor. For prostate cancer treatment, they may include temporary skin discoloration where the proton beam enters your body and mild urinary urgency and frequency that can be treated with medication, if needed. In the vast majority of cases, these symptoms are quite mild and subside shortly after proton treatment.
Most men receive proton therapy five days per week for about five weeks. Each treatment, called a fraction, takes 5 to 10 minutes plus the time our team needs to position you for treatment. In appropriate candidates, we also offer a 5-fraction (SBRT) treatment.
We are pleased to offer a growing number of clinical trials for a variety of cancers. We are currently enrolling patients in these prostate cancer studies:
Read more about these trials and proton therapy research at New York Proton Center.
Most of our patients continue to carry out their regular activities, including work, exercise, hobbies, and other daily tasks during the weeks they are receiving proton therapy treatment. And the treatment itself is non-invasive and painless. You will not see or feel the radiation, and you will never emit radiation from your body.
Download a pdf about proton therapy for prostate cancer.