Proton Therapy for Prostate 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.
For someone with prostate cancer, reduced radiation exposure to nearby organs, like the bladder and rectum, means reduced risk of genitourinary or gastrointestinal complications.
Low Risk of Side Effects
Proton therapy can be used in combination with chemotherapy, after surgery, or in combination with standard X-ray radiation treatment. It can be used to treat recurrent tumors, even if you have already received radiation. There are fewer short- and long-term side effects with proton therapy compared with standard X-ray radiation, including very low risk of any impact on urinary function, bowel function, or sexual potency. Patients often work and exercise while undergoing proton therapy, maintaining their normal life routines.
Receiving Proton Therapy
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) patients receive proton therapy at SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure 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 up to eight weeks. If your doctors recommend proton therapy for you, they will talk with you about this option.
Learn more about proton therapy for prostate cancer.