Proton Therapy in India: Advancements in Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy is among the frontline treatments for cancer alongside chemotherapy. This is because it is effective against different cancer forms at different stages. It, however, also leads to several severe side effects due to which proton therapy in India is being extensively studied as a replacement for traditional radiation therapy.

Based on the location and severity of a patient’s traditional radiation, there are high chances of different side effects. These may include nausea, fatigue, hair loss, blurred vision, and others. Studies have compared the side effects caused by traditional and proton beam therapy and found that the latter poses remarkably less risk of such severe effects in patients.

This article describes the different aspects of proton beam therapy in India, its procedure, advantages, cost, and which cancers it can help treat.

What is Proton Beam Therapy?

Proton therapy is an advanced version of radiotherapy. While traditional radiotherapy uses X-rays or photons for the treatment, this method makes use of protons, the positively charged components of the atoms.

This treatment method works similarly to radiotherapy where proton beams are focused and supplied to the target tumor site. The intensity and penetration power of the beam is adjusted as per the location of the tumor.

The prime distinction here is that while traditional radiation also causes some damage to the healthy cells and tissues surrounding the tumor, the damage from proton beams is minimal to none. This leads to reduced severity of the potential side effects and improves the patient’s quality of life.

How does Proton Cancer Treatment Work?

Before the treatment, you may have to go through a CT scan or an MRI to screen the exact tumor location. Your doctor would temporarily mark the spot for better precision during the treatment.

The treatment is carried out in an isolated room where you’d be asked to lie down and secured to the bed to prevent movement. Proton beams are supplied through the gantry which resembles a donut in shape. This gantry can be moved around to get the right location and angle to reach the tumor.

These proton beams reach the tumor with pinpoint accuracy and release their energy on the spot, thus damaging the cancerous cells. The beams do not travel beyond the tumor, unlike the traditional radiation. This feature is the primary reason why experts are considering proton therapy for cancer treatment.

The procedure takes around 30 minutes, depending on the location, size, and number of tumors to be treated. You won’t feel any pain during this period and can go home shortly after.

Which Cancers Can Be Treated by Proton Therapy India?

More extensive studies are going on to inspect the overall efficacy of proton radiation therapy in different cancer cases. So far, experts have deduced that proton therapy in India can be used to treat the following forms of cancer:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Head and Neck cancer
  • Prostrate cancer
  • Tumors at the base of the skull
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Sarcoma
  • Esophageal cancers
  • Oropharynx cancer
  • Cancer of the salivary glands

Advantages of Proton Beam Therapy in India

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are often used in conjunction for the treatment of different types and stages of cancer. This, however, leads to patients experiencing severe side effects from the combination of these two treatments which also affects their quality of life.

A study was performed where one group of cancer patients was administered proton therapy with chemotherapy while the other was given traditional radiation along with chemotherapy. The results showed that the first group experienced far less severe side effects than the second. Also, the overall efficacy of the treatment and the survival rate of the patients remained somewhat similar in both cases.

Several studies like these have proven several advantages of proton cancer treatment, some of which include:

  • Less to no harm to the healthy cells and tissues
  • Reduced toxicity of the procedure
  • Does not affect the patient’s ability to perform routine tasks
  • Dosage and intensity can be adjusted to optimal effect
  • Attacks the tumor cells with pinpoint accuracy
  • Improves the quality of the patient’s life
  • Reduced short and long-term side effects
  • Results are comparable to those of traditional radiotherapy

What is the Proton Therapy Cost in India?

The cost of proton therapy is much lower in India than in other foreign countries. Therefore, this advanced cancer treatment is more accessible and affordable to a large group of the population.

Proton therapy cost is comparatively higher than that of traditional radiotherapy. It varies based on different factors like the dosage and frequency of treatment. It is advisable to consult with your cancer care team and your insurance agent regarding covering the cost for proton therapy before undergoing treatment.

Proton Therapy is a Benchmark in Cancer Treatment

The field of cancer treatment has advanced a lot in the last few decades and it still has a long way to go. Considering the benefits proton therapy offers, bringing it to the mainstream of cancer treatment programs would be a major benchmark. Experts continue to study different aspects of this treatment method to ensure its efficacy and safety before doing so.

Proton therapy in India is offered to various patients after close inspection of their cases by their oncologists. If you are looking for a more patient-friendly treatment plan for yourself or a loved one, you can consult with your doctor about this method.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top