Frequently asked questions

It’s important that patients, along with their caregivers and families, have the information they need for informed and confident treatment decisions about proton therapy.

 

These Frequently Asked Questions can help you decide whether proton therapy is right for you. You can also contact us directly for more information.

What is proton therapy?

Proton therapy is an advanced radiation treatment that uses supercharged proton beams to target and destroy the cancer tumor. It’s extraordinarily precise, releasing nearly all the radiation into the tumor and almost none into surrounding areas.

 

Learn more about the benefits of proton therapy.

What are the advantages of proton therapy?

Proton therapy delivers a precise dose of radiation directly to the tumor site, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. That allows a higher, more effective radiation dose with fewer short- and long-term side effects.

 

Proton therapy is particularly beneficial for pediatric patients. It is also effective in treating complex tumors, as well as those located near sensitive area such as the brain, head, neck, lung, prostate, or along the spine.

 

Learn more about the benefits of proton therapy.

What types of cancers are treated with proton therapy?

Proton therapy is an effective treatment for many types of cancer, but most typically for solid tumors that have not spread to other parts of the body.

 

See the types of cancers we treat at the New York Proton Center.

 

Because every cancer is different, we encourage you to talk to your physician or contact us to learn if proton therapy is right for you.

How can I determine if I’m a candidate for proton therapy?

The first step is to speak to your primary physician. Based on your diagnosis, your physician can assess whether proton therapy is your best course of treatment.

 

If you have further questions or would like to consult with a physician in our network, please contact us.

What side-effects can I expect with proton therapy?

Side-effects from proton therapy treatment vary depending on medical history, age, diagnosis and treatment plan. Common symptoms include fatigue, temporary hair loss, and irritation on skin that is in the direct path of the radiation. Compared to conventional radiation therapy, however, proton therapy significantly reduces the potential for short- and long-term side-effects.

Is proton therapy safe?

Proton therapy is a safe treatment, particularly compared to standard radiation. See above to learn more about common side-effects.

Will my health insurance cover proton therapy?

The New York Proton Center is committed to helping you secure approval by providing your insurance company with supporting clinical evidence about your case. You can learn more here. Please remember to always contact your insurance provider to find out whether your policy covers proton therapy. Many providers do, but not all.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact us. You can also review the research validating proton therapy as an effective treatment for cancer. You may need to share it with your insurance provider to help you secure coverage for treatment.

Do I need special approval from my insurance company to receive proton therapy?

Yes.

 

It’s essential that you and your primary oncologist submit a request for coverage prior to scheduling treatment to learn about your coverage. If your insurance carrier determines that your case requires further review, your first request might be denied. In fact, it might take several appeals before your submission is approved.

 

The New York Proton Center is committed to helping you secure approval by providing your insurance company with supporting clinical evidence about your case.

Does the New York Proton Center coordinate with my regular oncologist?

Yes. Your referring oncologist remains involved in your care via regular contact and consultation with your support team at the Center.

Is proton therapy considered an experimental treatment?

No. Proton therapy has been approved by the FDA since 1988 and used effectively for decades—including by our partners—to treat cancer. The clinical data validates proton therapy as an effective form of cancer treatment that is neither experimental nor investigative.

Can proton therapy treat pediatric cancers?

Yes. In fact, proton therapy is uniquely appropriate for a variety of pediatric cancers. It can significantly reduce the potential for developmental abnormalities, growth delays, reductions in IQ, and other long-term complications that often result from conventional radiation.

 

Learn more about pediatric patient treatment options.

When will the New York Proton Center open?

Early Summer of 2019. Look for updates on this site as the opening gets closer.

 

Until then, patients referred by our partner hospitals receive treatment at the ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Somerset, New Jersey.

 

Learn more about ProCure here or contact (855) 522-5009.

How can we help?

Want to find out if proton therapy might be a good fit for you or your patient? Call us at 855-522-5009 or fill out the appropriate form below.