There are two words that strike fear into every woman, and those two words are breast cancer. No woman wants to get this diagnosis, but there is a ray of light in the dark tunnel. Advancements in treatment for breast cancer have come a long way. Women now have a choice when it comes to treating their breast cancer, and proton therapy is one of those choices. Proton therapy holds many benefits including shorter treatment times, 15 to 45 minutes per session, fewer side effects, less risks and faster recovery. While this may not be the first time you have heard of this treatment, there could be some questions you have concerning proton therapy. Read below for some common questions and answers that other women like yourself have had.

How is Proton Therapy for Breast Cancer Different

Treatment for breast cancer that involves proton therapy is different from radiation treatment for cancer because proton therapy destroys cancer cells while it minimizes damage to other cells, tissue and organs. The protons release majority of their energy once they come in contact with the tumor, resulting in lower radiation doses to other parts of the body. Since there is no “exit” route of the radiation, the treatment is better targeted to the tumor.

What is the Process

You are taken to a treatment room and a radiation therapist positions you to receive treatment. Your radiation therapist remains in the room so you can see them and talk to them during the process. A closed circuit television and intercom system is used for interaction between you and the therapist. Since this is a painless procedure there is a good chance that you can continue on with your normal daily activities once treatment is over.

How Many Treatment Can I Expect to Receive

Exact treatments will vary depending on your exact case. Despite this there is a typical treatment plan that most patients receive for proton treatment for breast cancer. Typical treatments are administered five days a week. These treatments typically last six to seven weeks. The length of time and the number of days your treatment lasts will depend on the exact type of cancer that you have, as well as other factors. Together you and your doctor will determine the exact course of treatment that is best for you.

Is Proton Cancer treatment Covered by Insurance?

Proton therapy for cancer is typically covered by Medicare. Other insurance companies may cover this procedure. Discuss coverage with your insurance company, because most companies determine coverage on a case by case basis. If you find that your insurance company does not cover this type of treatment, talk to the center directly. Patients who choose to pay for the treatment of breast cancer themselves can find that there are many options available to them.

Treatment for breast cancer is never an easy and simple process, but proton therapy shows some promise when it comes to treating women diagnosed with this disease. Advancements continue to make this a great option either alone or in combination of other treatment options to give women their life back. Consider proton therapy among the other treatment options available. Talk with your doctor, discuss the risks and benefits and together you and your doctor can make the best choice of treatment for you.

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