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Why is Reduced Radiation to the Brain Important?

Why is Reduced Radiation to the Brain Important?

While proton therapy is a potential treatment for patients with numerous types of cancers, it is very helpful for brain tumor patients. Treatment to the brain must be designed to result in as few side effects as possible.

“Protons work equally as well as regular X-ray radiation against cancer. However, because proton beams stop after they reach the target, the healthy part of the brain and body beyond where the radiation beam is aimed gets less radiation,” says Dr. Ralph Ermoian, a radiation oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Proton Therapy Center who treats pediatric patients with brain tumors. “Less radiation to healthy brain and body means less chance of side effects in the future.”

Proton therapy often results in less exposure to normal brain tissue, eyes, and the pituitary gland than traditional radiation. This helps retain better overall brain function and reduce the likelihood of tumors caused by treatment in the future.

Patients with brain tumors treated at SCCA Proton Therapy Center, get care from an experienced team of doctors, nurses, physicists, and therapists who have the best interest of the patient in mind, and who are brain tumor specialists.

“Protons are often the best choice. However, patients can feel confident that we are looking at all modalities and selecting the one best for their case,” says Dr. Ermoian, “All pediatric cases and most adult cases are presented to a group of independent surgeons, chemotherapy doctors, radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer experts who provide input on how best to treat our patients.”

SCCA Proton Therapy Center prides itself on both its brain cancer expertise and its caring approach to patients.  As Dr. Ermoian puts it, “When you undergo treatment at SCCA Proton Therapy Center, you can expect to be treated with the care and thoroughness you would expect of a cancer team taking care of their own family.”