View a detailed presentation how Proton therapy works and the benefits of Proton vs. other types of treatement.

The First Steps

Because Proton Therapy is a relatively new cancer treatment, its precise nature and achievements are unfamiliar to many. At the New York Proton Therapy Institute, we’re always happy to answer any of your questions. Feel free to contact us with your inquiries or concerns. In the meantime, check out our list of most frequently asked questions:

What exactly is proton therapy?
Proton therapy is a radiation treatment. The difference between conventional and proton radiation is that conventional radiation particles cannot be guided precisely and run the risk of damaging healthy tissues. Proton therapy, on the other hand, uses powerful protons that can target a tumor site with extreme precision. Additionally, there is no exit dose in proton therapy—in contrast to conventional radiation—further decreasing the risk of negative side effects.

I’ve discussed my treatment options with my doctor, but she hasn’t suggested proton therapy. Why?
Proton Therapy is a relatively new cancer treatment. Until recently, only research facilities utilized this therapy. Indeed, even now there are a very limited number of proton therapy centers throughout the United States. Proton therapy has proven remarkably successful in numerous cases. Ask your physician whether you might be a candidate, or contact us for more information.

What exactly do you mean when you refer to “being a candidate” for proton therapy?
Proton therapy is generally effective for tumors that have not metastasized, or spread to parts of the body beyond the original site. Also, the therapy is most effective for treatment of prostate, lung, head, brain, neck and pediatric cancers, although it can be useful in treating other forms of cancer, too. Your “candidacy” depends on the type of cancer you have and its grade.

Please explain the basic treatment procedure.
First, our physicians collaborate with you to assemble a series of clinical reports and studies, in order to determine your specific situation. A consultation visit is then scheduled, where our physicians review your case with you. Then, there’s a simulation visit. Once your precise tumor site has been located (through use of advanced software and imaging techniques), we set up a schedule of therapy sessions. Typically, the time period for sessions is between six and eight weeks, up to five days per week. You can expect to follow a basically regular routine during that time, as treatments are non-invasive.

I know that the side effects of radiation can be devastating. What should I expect in terms of side effects for proton therapy?
Actually, the side effects of Proton Therapy are generally minimal, especially as compared to conventional radiation. Protons have the ability to target a tumor very precisely; consequently, damage to surrounding healthy tissues is minimized. Before scheduling treatments, your physician will discuss any potential side effects with you.

I’m worried about cost. Does health insurance cover these treatments?
Typically, health insurance providers cover proton therapy. Our staff of financial counselors will review your coverage and answer your questions before scheduling a consultation.

I don’t live in New York. Do you provide any accommodations for the duration of the treatments?
At the New York Proton Therapy Institute, your comfort is a priority. We have a variety of rooms and apartments available that we can offer at minimal cost. Additionally, we have a detailed list of hotels in the vicinity, which we will share with you. Our staff will provide any assistance you may need in making comfortable arrangements.

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