Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of external radiotherapy that uses high-energy proton beams instead of photon x-ray beams or electrons. Carefully measured doses of protons are delivered to the precise area needing treatment, using the latest IBA ProteusONE technology. This ensures that the delivery of proton beam therapy is highly accurate and prevents the risk of radiation reaching surrounding healthy tissue.
The radiotherapy treatment comes from an electrical machine called a ‘Linear accelerator’ and is directed as a beam to the part of the body that needs to be treated. Treatment is given daily over a period of days or weeks and you may hear people call these treatments ‘fractions’. They are just a fraction of your treatment dose and plan.
Chemotherapy at the Rutherford takes place in our modern therapy suites, consisting of up to ten treatment areas offering treatment for haematology/oncology patients requiring systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT) and supportive care in an outpatient setting. The infusion therapy suites are available for patients undergoing treatment for breast, urology, upper and lower gastrointestinal cancers, and both malignant and non-malignant haematology disorders.
Feeling fit and healthy when he went for a private medical check-up in December 2017, Timon was surprised when his results showed a raised PSA level. Despite having not a single untoward symptom, he became increasingly worried after a blood test, MRI, and then a biopsy which confirmed that he had prostate cancer.
Timon was then invited to choose his own cancer treatment from options including radiotherapy and a radical prostatectomy. For a man in his 50s, embarking on a new relationship (and now soon to be married), the thought of signing up for a cancer treatment which carries a 40% chance it could leave him impotent or incontinent was devastating.
Proton beam therapy arose as a more encouraging option after Timon attended a talk by oncology expert and co-founder of Rutherford Health plc (formerly known as Proton Partners International) Professor, Karol Sikora, at his local prostate cancer support group. Timon read up on proton beam therapy and was particularly heartened by its much lower risk of side effects, as the treatment is highly targeted and minimises damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Proton beam therapy can be used in various forms of cancer; however, it is particularly effective for tackling hard-to-reach tumours. Deciding to go ahead with proton beam therapy, Timon was treated at the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales in November 2018.
Prior to his treatment Timon underwent hormone therapy, which successfully reduced his level of testosterone to almost nil – a process he found more unpleasant than the proton beam treatment itself. He experienced virtually no side effects during the proton beam therapy, other than a (temporarily) more pressing need to empty his bladder – which was only a problem at the cinema and during long drives…while he took the opportunity to use his spare time exploring Wales with his fiancée!
With our commitment to excellence, we provide an all-encompassing cancer service for patients, delivering world-class imaging, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and proton therapy treatment. Read more about our patients below:
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