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Newer Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatment Available

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 Posted 2/27/2014 5:26:40 AM
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The Physics of Proton Therapy

http://www.seattlecca.org/diseases/proton-therapy-physics.cfm

Proton therapy is a type of external beam radiotherapy. Poton therapy is not perfect. A slight chance exists of damaging surrounding healthy tissue. This is especially important to note in brain tumors. However, this targeted therapy is safer than previous therapies that use the so-called 'shotgun' radiation and chemotherapy approach to treating cancer.

Talk to your oncologist regarding the benefits versus the risks for your particular case.

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 Posted 2/27/2014 8:17:51 AM
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Tom. (2/27/2014)
The Physics of Proton Therapy

http://www.seattlecca.org/diseases/proton-therapy-physics.cfm

Proton therapy is a type of external beam radiotherapy. Poton therapy is not perfect. A slight chance exists of damaging surrounding healthy tissue. This is especially important to note in brain tumors. However, this targeted therapy is safer than previous therapies that use the so-called 'shotgun' radiation and chemotherapy approach to treating cancer.

Talk to your oncologist regarding the benefits versus the risks for your particular case.


Hi Tom, Well it is an interesting read. You did qualify your statement as to it`s safety. I frankly do NOT understand why it would be any safer than the old time radiation treatments. Any tissues these proton beams pass through will be damaged along with the tumor. And such proton beams would seem to me to inevitably lead to or cause all sorts of free radical activity bigtime. Each and every proton is going to grab an electron throughout the beams trajectory. That is what protons do. AND, a single hydrogen atom is by definition a free radical. A proton with an unpaired electron. I have NO doubt of these proton beams ability to destroy cells including cancer cells but also healthy cells.
   I would imagine this is one of those LAST RESORT treatments. For those interested there is what is called " THE PROTECTIVE EFFECT " with BHT [ butylated hydroxytoluene ] discussed here:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396144

This same effect is noted in some WHO reports. I lose track of many such websites. NO ONE seems interested anyway so WHY SHOULD I bother to ?   ...Other  

     
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 Posted 2/27/2014 8:34:10 AM
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Oscar,

You state "a single hydrogen atom is by definition a free radical." Did you mean to say "ion" rather than "atom?"

thanks

D Dye


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 Posted 2/27/2014 10:42:26 AM
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DDye (2/27/2014)
Oscar,

You state "a single hydrogen atom is by definition a free radical." Did you mean to say "ion" rather than "atom?"

thanks

D Dye


Dear DDye, I don`t know if you got my previous response or not. But yes, a single hydrogen atom is a free radical. It is 1 proton with 1 unpaired electron. I did read up on radiation treatments for cancer and the mechanism described is that by shooting a beam of charged particles at a tumor you set in motion free radical reactions and it is the free radicals that kill the cancer cells. Most especially the hydroxyl radical [ H-O. ]. When water is split you get two free radicals [ H-O. ] and [ . H ]. Both are free radicals. The [ H-O. ] is the most destructive because of oxygens high electonegativity value, but [ . H ] is very destructive also.

Wikipedia here on radiation treatments for cancer:


       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_therapy#Mechanism_of_action

You may have received an earlier response from me. I do not know about that.   ...Oscar   
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 Posted 2/27/2014 10:46:32 AM
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It's an interesting area.

A friend was treated with proton therapy for an "incurable" (acording to his physicians) cancer over a decade ago and is still alive.
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 Posted 2/27/2014 2:32:07 PM
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Oscar,

This link from the same site answers your questions:

http://www.seattlecca.org/diseases/proton-therapy-questions-answers.cfm

In short, in contrast to shotgun radiation therapy or chemotherapy,  PT is less invasive, destroys less surrounding healthy tissue, the patient isn't sick and weak -- can get back into life after treatment, and it's more precise. 

Oscar, no such cancer treatment is without possible side effects. A brain tumor for example, depending upon where it is located, is not without a chance of brain damage frrom the therapy, and could leave one with balance, walking, or speech problems. Although much less of a chance than the former treatments.

However, if one is diagnosed with a life threatening tumor, or has worse tumor symptoms than the possilble side effects, it may be a risk one is willing to take.  

In contrast though, if one has a small, benign menengegomia for example, causing no symptoms, and not growing and/or the patient will live a full life without complications,  than it may not be wise to take the risk.

It's good to know science is sdvancing in this area.  

-Tom

 







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 Posted 2/28/2014 3:09:34 AM
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Tom. (2/27/2014)
Oscar,

This link from the same site answers your questions:

http://www.seattlecca.org/diseases/proton-therapy-questions-answers.cfm

In short, in contrast to shotgun radiation therapy or chemotherapy,  PT is less invasive, destroys less surrounding healthy tissue, the patient isn't sick and weak -- can get back into life after treatment, and it's more precise. 

Oscar, no such cancer treatment is without possible side effects. A brain tumor for example, depending upon where it is located, is not without a chance of brain damage frrom the therapy, and could leave one with balance, walking, or speech problems. Although much less of a chance than the former treatments.

However, if one is diagnosed with a life threatening tumor, or has worse tumor symptoms than the possilble side effects, it may be a risk one is willing to take.  

In contrast though, if one has a small, benign menengegomia for example, causing no symptoms, and not growing and/or the patient will live a full life without complications,  than it may not be wise to take the risk.

It's good to know science is sdvancing in this area.  

-Tom
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Hi Tom, I read the article and now understand what you are talking about. What I do not understand is why it is not used more than it is. The article you linked to states this treatment has been around since the mid 1950s and it also states that about 80,000 people have received these treatments. So why have so few received these much safer treatments ? These treatments have been around for about 60 years. I did notice said treatments did not get FDA approval until 1988. More than 30 years after the technology was available. What is it with the FDA ? And why are so many doctors NOT using this treatment now that it has the almighty FDA approval.
   In essence: We have a medical establishment MORE THAN 60 YEARS behind the technology available. This is not only inexcusable, it is INCOMPRHENSABLE !
   We live in a country and an entire world run by IDIOTS. There are MANY truly brilliant people in our world. It really is a shame that the IDIOTS are the ones running the show.   ...Oscar
  



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 Posted 2/28/2014 6:12:04 PM
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Hi Oscar,

To answer your questions... 

First and foremost,  Proton Therapy is very expensive-somewhere in the neighborhood of three to six times as much as traditional radiation therapy. Those without insurance may not be able to afford it.  However, it is covered by most major medical plans as it is an accepted form of cancer treatment.

Secondly, the proton therapy equipment used, such as particle accelerators, are so outrageously expensive that there are few cancer treatments centers with such equipment.Those treatment centers are often reserved first by those who can benefit from proton therapy the most such as children who have a long life left to live, and are more sensitive to other radiation treatments.. That's not to say there isn't time or room for other people to benefit from proton therapy

Because of its rarity many doctors are not familiar with the benefits of proton therapy. In addition, patients may need to travel to the nearest facility. Travel and accommodation expenses may not be covered by insurance.

-Tom

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Seize every opportunity to put your best foot forward.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything
If everything seems under control you're just not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti
You can't expect to do business today, with yesterday's tools, and be in business tomorrow. - Author Unknown
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