Friday, December 2, 2016

Proton Beam Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Proton Beam Therapy for Cancer Treatment 

Cancer is one of the challenging diseases for the human world. Tobacco and other habits were considered the major causes for the disease, but when it occurs without reason to many individuals, people try to find alternative answers. Amongst women, rural urban divide was found in cancer cases. Breast cancer cases found common amongst urban women (who avoid breath feeding to their children) and ovarian cancer cases found common amongst the rural women due to poor unhygienic living style. We are yet to reach out for toilet in each house, the bathroom will take may be another decade. 

What is cancer? It was presumed that it is an uncontrolled growth of some cells of the body, those have been moved out of the command and control system and go on multiplying till they burst. The tumour developed obstruct the life energy and kills the person. As you know, our body is made of cells. Each cell has a life cycle of birth, life and death. New cells replace the old once. 24x7, the cycle of generation, operation and destruction goes on, till we finally end our life in death. 

But in Cancer, some cells become immortal, don't die. The cycle of new cells generation continues and the previous lot if don't die, what will happen? The tumour is formed with the increase in the quantum of cells around that area. This is Cancer. 

Chemo radiation (X-Rays-photons) therapy has been used to treat cancer. It directs photons and electrons at tumours with the intent of eradicating the neoplastic tissue while preserving adjacent normal tissue. But radiation induced damage to the healthy tissue. The Therapy is generally used to kill the cancer cells at the spot as well as those spread out in other parts of the body. But while doing so, the radiation kills many healthy tissues. If the tumour burst during the treatment, cancer spreads into the body and the relapse becomes incurable. 

Now, the oncologists have developed a proton therapy, also called proton beam therapy, is a radiation treatment that uses proton rather than x-rays. At high energy, it can destroy the cancer cell. It's a pointed treatment in which the Proton radiation directly work on the tumour kill only the cancer cells and save the healthy cells. The treatment allows for excellent dose distribution, with the added benefit of no exit dose. These characteristics make this form of radiotherapy an excellent choice for the treatment of tumours located next to critical structures such as spinal cord, eyes, and brain, as well as for paediatric malignancies. However, the treatment has a limitation, as it works on tumours, therefore, the treatment is not useful in blood and other types of cancer.

The Proton Beam Therapy machine is very expensive, may be costing ₹400 CR. In India only Apollo Hospital has placed an order and it will get the delivery probably in 2018. But it is a new ray of hope for the patient living with cancer.

ऊँ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः । 
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद् दुःखभाग्भवेत ।

2 December 2016


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