Written by: Stuart H. Burri, MD
Cancer remains the second leading cause of death around the world, reports the World Health Organization. It claimed an estimated 9.6 million lives in 2018, and about one in six deaths will be attributed to cancer. Although 70 percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, the threat of cancer in the U.S. continues to affect countless lives. More than 400 people out of 100,000 in the U.S. are diagnosed with new cancers each year, notes the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For those with a cancer diagnosis, the threat of surgical intervention, chemotherapy or radiation can be overwhelming.
The idea of introducing radiation to the body is frightening, but a newer form of radiation therapy—proton therapy or proton beam therapy (PBT)—holds promising results for those with certain types of cancers, including cancers of the head. Before deciding what type of therapy is right for you, take a moment to consider the facts of proton therapy, when it’s useful as a treatment and more.