The prostate is a walnut-shaped organ surrounded by the bladder and rectum that sits deep in the male pelvis. For this reason, these organs, as well as the adjacent intestines and bony structures, often receive unnecessary doses of radiation when treating the prostate for cancer. This can result in increased side effects both short and long term. Proton therapy can limit unnecessary radiation doses to these tissues when treating the prostate, reducing debilitating side effects such as rectal urgency and frequency. Additionally, some studies have demonstrated increased survival rates for proton therapy patients when compared to patients treated with standard radiation therapy.
Description provided by The National Association for Proton Therapy (proton-therapy.org)