Currently, we provide the proton beam treatment of "prostate" and "lung" cancer for international patients.
Treating Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer which causes death of 256,000 men in 2010 and its number is increasing.
Proton therapy is a special type of radiation therapy that uses protons. The protons will be accelerated to 70% of the speed of light and then shot at cancerous tumor cells. As other radiation therapy proton beams attack the cells by damaging their DNA, which will ultimately result in cell death.
Advantages of Proton Therapy
Standard x-ray based radiation therapies and proton therapy are equally effective against cancerous cells. However proton therapy can significantly reduce irradiation of surrounding healthy tissue up to 3 times. Less irradiation means very few short- and longterm side effects as well as a lower likelihood for secondary tumors. Studies have shown it's more effective to use higher doses of radiation. Proton therapy makes it possible to increase the doses while keeping the damage on healthy tissue stable.
It has been shown that overall healthy tissue that receives 10 Gy during a radiation therapy is around 50% less with proton therapy compared to the most advanced x-ray therapy. Gray (Gy) is the unit that defines the amount of radiation that is absorbed by 1 kg. 10 Gy is equivalent to more than 14,000 x-ray pictures or 1000 CTs. (X-ray Chest AP: 0.7 mGy, CT chest: 10 mGy)
What to expect
The treatment of prostate cancer will approximately take 6 to 8 weeks depending on the progression of the tumor, its location and the pathology of the surrounding tissue. The fractions are on an out patient basis Monday through Friday and will take approximately 30 minutes per day. The actual radiation time should be a few minutes.
Whether proton therapy is applicable has to be decided case by case. Every cancer is different and so must be the treatment. Deciding which treatment is the best for you can be the hardest task so we advise you to not rush. Please consult your home physician as well as specialized oncologists. Proton therapy is a excellent treatment and we offer you the latest, most advance technology on the market but only your doctors can decide whether it's the best option for you.
Treating Lung Cancer
By 2008 lung cancer is the world wide most common cause of death among cancer types.
Proton Therapy for Lung Cancer
Proton beam therapy may be a good choice for treating lung cancer because it is:
- Non-invasive and free of pain
- Delivering extremely precise irradiation
- Sparing the normal, healthy tissue from being irradiated
What to expect
The treatment of lung cancer will take from about 2 weeks, up to 8 weeks, depending on the progression of the tumor, its location and the pathology of the surrounding tissue. The fractions are on an out patient basis Monday through Friday and will take approximately 30 minutes per day. The actual radiation only will take a few minutes.
Consult a Doctor
You are receiving a lot of information and many treatment options. When you talk with your Doctor these questions will help you narrow your choices.
Ask your doctor to write down the actual descriptions of your cancer and the type of tumor. Many of the tumors treated by proton can also be treated by X-ray radiation, so these discussion questions will help with the explanation of the differences.
- What are applicable treatment options for me?
- What would you recommend and why?
- Is proton treatment an option for me?
- What are the pros and cons of each of these options?
- What is the treatment like and is it safe?
- How long will a course of treatment take? How long does each treatment last?
- How much will the treatment affect my daily life?
- What are the short and long term side effects of my treatment options?
- How will we know if the treatment has been successful?
- Where will the treatment take place?
- What are treatment costs and will they be covered by my healthcare insurance?
- If my cancer returns, what should I do? Can I have proton treatment a second time?
- After we decide the best course of treatment, what are the next steps?
After cancer has been diagnosed it is important to contact your personal physician and a specialized oncologist. Each tumor is unique and so has to be the therapy. Proton therapy is one of the most advanced cutting edge radiation treatments for cancer but only your doctors can decide if it's the best option for you. For more information if proton therapy could be application please contact us.
Once you and your doctors decide for proton therapy the following steps have to be taken.
- Once your application has been passed through our treatment criteria, you will be told to contact Emergency Assitance Japan or Japan Medical & Health Tourism Center.
- After the initial referral by the patient's physician and arrival at Medipolis, you will see our team of doctors to discuss necessary treatment options.
- Within the following week, two to five days will be spent planning the treatment process. During this time MRI, X-Rays, CT scans and blood tests will be done to confirm the diagnosis and to determine the precise position of the cancer.
- Based on this information, the radiation oncology department begins treatment planning. A 3D copy (called Boluses) that perfectly matches your tumors and a personal positioning device for use during the treatments are fabricated. These ensure the highest possible precision to minimize the irradiation of your healthy tissue.
- The following week, after a day of orientation, treatment begins. All treatment is on an out-patient basis Monday through Friday and takes about 30 minutes per day.
- Duration of treatment depends on the type of cancer being treated. It can be as little as 2 weeks for lung cancer or up to 8 weeks for prostate cancer.
- After treatment is complete, you return to the care of their home physician for follow-up observation.