Proton Therapy For Children: What To Know About It
Children, adolescents, and young adults with malignant or noncancerous tumours may benefit greatly from getting proton therapy in Singapore. There may be an advantage to using proton therapy in paediatric cancer patients because doctors can precisely target treatment to the tumour location.
This way, it minimises the potential for harm to children. It is especially important for youngsters, whose bodies are still growing.
To learn more about this treatment, here’s a guide.
How Does Proton Therapy For Children Work?
Proton therapy in Singapore is an excellent option for treating paediatric cancer because of its precision in locating tumours. Studies have also demonstrated that proton therapy can reduce the long-term side effects of treatment, which is important for doctors and families to consider when treating children, especially very young ones.
Even women getting breast cancer treatment in Singapore consider it a potent and safer option. Protons, charged particles, are used to deliver high doses of radiation directly to tumours in this advanced therapy.
It has less of an effect on adjacent tissues. It also has a lesser potential for treatment-related negative effects.
How Does Proton Differ From Getting Traditional Radiation Therapy?
Traditional radiation therapy uses x-rays or photon beams to target the tumour and its surrounding healthy tissue. It can cause considerable damage to neighbouring healthy tissues and serious side effects.
Instead of just targeting cancer cells, radiation therapy impacts healthy cells along the X-ray beam before and after the tumour site. With proton therapy, there may also be as much as 60% less radiation delivered to healthy tissue around the tumour location. Even though the radiation dose is larger with proton therapy, the doctor can shield the surrounding tissues and important organs.
Although it doesn’t work for all types of cancer, getting proton therapy in Singapore is especially advisable for children since it can:
- Reduce cell damage which is crucial for their growth.
- Avoid numerous negative effects on their mental, emotional, and physical health.
- Keeping reproductive organs healthy and preserving one’s ability to have children.
Aside from radiation, protons also work for patients needing cervical cancer treatment in Singapore. It improves chemotherapy tolerance in patients receiving proton treatment. It also allows patients to preserve their existing quality of life while receiving therapy.
Besides, the radiation therapy cost in Singapore differs as a proton is more expensive.
What Does Happen Before, During And After Proton Procedure?
For patients getting proton therapy in Singapore, your child’s first visit may last at least an hour or two. A nurse will complete a physical exam and will speak to you about your child’s medical history and discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s health.
The radiation oncologist who examines your child may discuss proton therapy with you. It is also your chance to ask them about your concerns. During your discussion, they will outline what to expect throughout treatment.
As a parent or guardian, you must help your child’s care team meet their specific requirements by establishing communication.
When you get proton therapy in Singapore, radiation oncologists and physicists prepare each kid’s treatment weeks ahead to ensure the best possible outcome for the child. A “simulation” process is the initial stage in the procedure. The patient is immobilised with various specialised devices to achieve an accurate and highly reproducible position for each treatment.
Doctors might use a custom mask or a special tray affixed to the teeth to treat patients above the neck level. It can fit the body with various unique moulds for treatment below the neck.
Based on the scan results, radiation oncologists create a treatment plan that includes choosing the radiation dose to be administered to the tumour, understanding how much tissue they have to work with and establishing how much of the patient’s healthy tissue they can save.
Once they develop the immobilisation device, patients get a computed tomography (CT) scan to build a virtual 3-D reconstruction of the tumour and normal tissues surrounding it. Doctors use this to determine the safest method.
After completing these examinations and tests, you and your kid will return home. After two weeks and after the doctors pinpoint the position of the tumour, your child will begin receiving proton therapies.
Even for women getting breast cancer treatment in Singapore, this thorough process is necessary to ensure the treatment is on the right path.
For five to six weeks, most youngsters are treated daily on weekdays. Children who are sedated may require up to 30 minutes or an hour. However, depending on the type and stage of the tumour, the length of each therapy will vary.
For dress codes, make sure they don’t wear anything with metal on it and avoid wearing anything too tight. Your child may be required to wear a hospital gown, depending on the doctor’s instruction.
Before each treatment, the CT system may scan the target. Children must be in the exact position indicated during CT simulation when undergoing proton treatment to ensure that the proton beam hits the target precisely.
Undergoing proton therapy in Singapore is a non-invasive procedure that does not necessitate a stay in a medical facility. To make a child feel comfortable throughout the treatment, you can bring your music players or request your child’s favourite songs.
If your child feels uncomfortable, hand signals are also applicable to let the doctors know how they are feeling.
Expect side effects
Occasionally, patients may experience mild side effects from their treatment, which can include the following:
- Discomfort and swelling following treatment
- Problems with swallowing and discomfort in the mouth
- Loss of hair in the treatment zone
Doctors will plan a follow-up care appointment for children getting proton therapy in Singapore. This follow-up appointment is typically scheduled for 4 to 6 weeks. Your child’s radiation oncologist and I will discuss how often they must return to the clinic for additional treatment.
The CHOP oncologist will also monitor your child’s progress. It helps catch radiation-related issues as early as possible.
Let your child get the right treatment.
Dr Johann Tang is a trusted radiation oncologist that offers services such as proton therapy in Singapore. Consider booking an appointment today to get the treatment your child needs.