What to Expect

Experiencing Proton Therapy at Scripps

Every person’s needs, lifestyle, expectations and goals are different; no two conditions are the same. That’s why the team at Scripps Proton Therapy Center collaborates with medical oncologists to come up with an individualized care plan for each patient.

Proton therapy may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy. It may be a treatment prescribed following cancer surgery. The types of treatment used will depend on the type, stage and location of the disease or condition.

Planning

If proton therapy is deemed a treatment option for your cancerous or non-cancerous condition, the medical team will take scans of the treatment area and use computer modeling to formulate a treatment plan. This plan is designed to deliver maximal radiation doses to the tumor while minimizing the radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissues.

Treatment

Proton therapy is non-invasive, so treatment itself is typically painless. It may also be quick. Most types of cancer — and even non-cancerous conditions — can be treated in six to eight weeks with proton therapy.

While actual treatment time ranges from one to three minutes, patients can expect to be in the treatment room for a total of 30 minutes or less per treatment, depending on the tumor type, size, location and the patient’s health.

The proton beam can be delivered with accuracy of up to 1 millimeter, so it is important for technicians to carefully position the person receiving treatment. Full two-way video and audio are always on during treatments, allowing the medical team members and patients to communicate throughout the process.

Find out if proton therapy is a treatment option for you or someone you love.