Lung cancer remains the number one cancer killer among men and women in North America. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 92,000 men and 81,000 women are diagnosed each year with cancer of the lungs and bronchi (the air tubes leading to the lungs). Among men, the incidence of lung cancer has been declining. For women, the rate is beginning to level off after years of steady increase.
Proton therapy can be used effectively to treat lung cancer patients. Since the lungs are located close to several critical normal structures in the body, it is challenging to deliver an adequate dose of radiation to a cancerous tumor while sparing these nearby normal tissues. Using proton technology’s advanced image guidance and ability to precisely target tumor in the lungs, physicians can deliver higher radiation dosages with optimal accuracy, sparing critical nearby structures, such as the esophagus, heart and spinal cord. This allows normal tissue to function better and may result in better local control of the disease, higher survival rates and improved quality of life.