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Although treating cancer with a lower risk of side effects is a priority for every patient, it's especially important when treating cancer in children. That's why, for many patients with pediatric cancer, proton therapy holds unique promise.
How Proton Therapy Effectively Treats Pediatric Cancer
Generally, cancer in children is treated with traditional radiation, chemotherapy or surgery – or a combination of the three. And while traditional radiation can go a long way in defeating pediatric cancer, it can also result in harmful side effects for growing children. These risks include developmental delays, hormone deficiencies, effects on bone and muscle tissue, and hearing loss or damage to salivary glands when pediatric cancer is located in the head or neck.
Because protons can be precisely controlled, pediatric proton therapy is ideal for tumors located near growing tissues in the spinal cord and brain, eyes, ears or mouth. For sarcomas and lymphomas, proton therapy also delivers less radiation to the heart, lungs, and intestines. Healthy tissues surrounding the pediatric cancer are spared from excess radiation, meaning physicians can deliver more potent doses of proton radiation directly to the child’s tumor.
Types of pediatric cancer treated with proton therapy include:
To learn more about other benefits of treating cancer in children with proton therapy, contact the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute today.