Proton Therapy

Proton Therapy for Anal Cancer

Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment that targets protons at tumors to kill cancer cells. It delivers higher, more effective doses of radiation than traditional X-ray radiation therapy with great precision, significantly limiting radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue near the anus, such as the genitals, skin, bowel, bladder, and bone marrow. This may reduce side effects from treatment and allow for a shorter course of treatment—sometimes weeks shorter—compared with X-ray radiation therapy.

Receiving Proton Therapy

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) patients receive proton therapy at the SCCA Proton Therapy Center, located on UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center campus (view map and directions). A complete proton therapy session can range from 15 to 60 minutes; the time spent delivering protons to the tumor is only about one minute. Most patients receive therapy five days a week for four to eight weeks. If your doctors recommend proton therapy for you, they will talk with you about this option.

Learn more about proton therapy.