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Proton beam therapy is a cancer treatment method that uses proton beams and falls under the category of radiation therapy. It utilizes a property of proton beams wherein it stops inside the patient's body and releases the maximum amount of energy just before ceasing, thereby minimizing the effects of irradiation on properly functioning organs.
Flows of particles carrying large amounts of energy and electromagnetic waves are collectively called radioactive waves. Because radioactive rays permeate through the bodies of humans, cancerous cells can be irradiated without having to perform surgery. Cancerous cells are more likely to be affected by radioactive rays than properly functioning cells, and cancerous cell growth and proliferation are inhibited through irradiation, eventually leading to their disappearance. Unlike surgical treatment which performs incisions and excisions on the body, radio therapy has been utilized as a treatment method that maintains a patient's quality of life (QOL) because it does not impair bodily functions. However, properties of various types of radioactive rays differ, and there are some which damage properly functioning organs when passing through a patient's body.
Proton beam therapy, which is less likely to damage properly functioning organs, has gathered attention in recent years as a method that is particularly easy on the body, even among radiotherapy methods. In Japan, proton beam therapy is starting to be administered as a treatment method, mainly for pediatric cancers, etc., where there is a particularly strong need to avoid damaging properly functioning organs.