Proton Therapy: An Advancement in Cancer Treatment Methods

Dr. John Chang:

I’m Dr. John Chang, medical director at the Oklahoma Proton Center. Advances in cancer treatment are happening every day, and one such advancement is proton therapy. The Oklahoma Proton Center has successfully treated thousands of patients with the world’s most advanced cancer treatment.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology published an article in January of this year. This study included nearly 1500 patients who were treated with radiation and chemotherapy for very advanced cancers. That study demonstrated that proton therapy reduced side effects from many cancers by nearly 60% in patients who had proton therapy over others who had regular radiation. This keeps them out of the hospital. It preserves their quality of life going forward so that after being cured — which is what we focus on — they can also enjoy the rest of their life. On a day to day basis for patients coming in for treatment, how they feel from the time they walk in the door to the time they walk out is not significantly different.

Once it’s time for their treatment, they go onto the treatment table, get adjusted and positioned properly, and then we take pictures to make sure they’re properly aligned in position for their treatment. Typical treatment sessions last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes on the table. Once their treatment is completed — which they feel no pain regarding — patients are able to get dressed and go about their day normally. Many of those patients are avid golfers or outdoors people that would come in, get their treatment, and go out and participate in the sport that they love. This allows them to preserve their both physical and emotional quality of life going forward from during the treatment to afterwards. Oklahoma Proton Center. More than a cure. Quality of life.

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