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How Does Proton Treatment Work?

Proton therapy is an advanced radiation therapy that can increase the effectiveness of radiation while minimizing the side effects. Proton treatment is carried out with the help of proton beams; these positively charged particles pull out the electrons from their orbits, causing damage to the molecules. The molecular damages caused to the DNA of the targeted cells, by the radiation are generally repaired with the help of a particular enzyme produced by the cells. However, the molecular repairing mechanism of the cancerous cells is slower than the healthy ones. So, the cancer cells are often not able to recover from the damage caused to their DNA through ionization, and dies eventually.

The best part about proton treatment is that, the proton particles can be energized according to the distance of the targeted cells, which allows the therapist to deliver a more precise dosage of radiation to the cancer cells. As the proton beam travels through the body, it interacts with the surrounding electrons and slows down. The point where the highest energy is released by the protons is known as “Bragg peak” and the therapist can determine the “Bragg peak” depending on the exact location of the cancer. This allows the therapist to provide more radiation to the cancer cells while causing less damage to the surrounding healthy tissues and organs.

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