CANCER TREATMENT FOR ANY SIZE
REPORT: MB #2992
BACKGROUND: In traditional radiation therapy for cancer treatment, a patient is exposed to X-rays. As they pass through both healthy and cancerous tissue, X-rays leave a path of damage. It helps destroy tumors but also may cause damage to the surrounding tissue. Proton therapy has benefits over conventional therapy in the treatment of many common cancers, such as prostate cancer, lung cancer, cancers of the eye and cancer in children. Protons are more precise than X-rays and cause less damage in the body. Protons deposit the majority of their destructive energy at the tumor site. Normal, healthy tissue receives less exposure to radiation, resulting in fewer side effects.
NEW ADVANCE: Doctors at the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute are using a new technique called uniform scanning. It moves a single beam of protons in a sweeping or scanning motion, enabling the beam to reach deeper into the body and cover a wider area than traditional proton therapy. This allows proton therapy to be an option for men with prostate cancer who have a hip circumference of more than 50 inches and for sarcoma patients with tumors larger than 9.4 inches. Uniform scanning will also help patients with tumors in the head and neck, brain or spinal column since it can hit the target area more efficiently without hurting vital organs. "With proton therapy, our ability to precisely deliver radiation to the tumor without damaging normal healthy tissue is the main advantage for all patients," Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., medical director of the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, Fla., was quoted as saying. "Uniform scanning takes us to the next step in improving delivery of protons, eventually leading to more intense and fewer doses and the potential to further decrease risk of complications."
PROSTATE CANCER: Prostate cancer occurs when cells within the prostate grow uncontrollably, creating small tumors. It is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting one in 6 men. A non-smoking man is more likely to develop prostate cancer than he is to develop colon, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma and kidney cancers combined. A man is 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than a woman is to be diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2009, more than 192,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 27,000 men will die from the disease. One new case occurs every 2.7 minutes. It is estimated there are more than 2 million American men currently living with prostate cancer.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute
2015 North Jefferson St.
Jacksonville, FL 32206
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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