This Breast Cancer Treatment Minimizes Risk to Your Heart
May 25, 2018
Medical science has made some remarkable advances in the treatment of breast cancer and many women are undergoing treatment and going on to live cancer-free lives.
One such advancement is proton therapy, an innovative treatment option that may be particularly beneficial for women with tumors in the left breast.
What is Proton Therapy?
Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses robotic technology and an image guidance system to deliver a highly concentrated and focused beam of radiation to the tumor. Because the proton beam is so precisely targeted, it aggressively treats the tumor while preserving the healthy, surrounding tissues and/or organs.
For women or men with tumors in the left breast, proton therapy minimizes incidental radiation exposure to the nearby heart muscle and may reduce the risk of heart disease or arrhythmias developing later in life. It may also lessen the chance of secondary cancers occurring in the region that was treated.
Proton therapy is delivered on an outpatient basis with little, if any, recovery time required unless sedation is given for the patient’s comfort. It can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy or surgery as needed but, when used alone, patients usually can return to their normal routine immediately after each treatment.
Proton Therapy is FDA-Approved
Although there are minimal side effects, some patients may experience skin irritation and/or fatigue, but these side effects quickly diminish and disappear once the therapy is completed.
Proton therapy has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has proven to be a safe and effective treatment option for many patients.
University Hospitals was the first in Ohio to offer proton therapy and remains one of only 27 hospitals in the nation to offer this innovative type of radiation therapy.