Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is proton therapy?

Proton therapy Is an advanced form of radiation cancer treatment that precisely targets tumors. Because this prevision causes less damage to healthy tissue on both entry and exit, proton therapy patients experience fewer side effects than with standard X-ray radiation.

How does proton therapy compare with other options?

Proton therapy is the most precise and advanced form of radiation treatment. Proton beams deposit most of their energy directly in the tumor, which saves the surrounding healthy tissue and organs. In traditional radiation therapy, X-ray beams go through the tumor, affecting healthy and cancerous areas along the path of the beam.

How do I know if I am a candidate for proton therapy?

Beaumont’s team of experienced radiation oncologists will determine if you are a potential candidate for proton therapy through a consultation and review of your cancer diagnosis and medical history.

Will my insurance cover proton therapy?

Many insurance plans in the United States will cover proton therapy, including Medicare. Check with your individual insurance provider to learn if proton therapy is covered.

If you have questions about your insurance coverage, or options for self-pay, call 248-551-8402 to speak with a financial advisor.

Treatment Process

What will I feel like during the course of my proton therapy?

Most patients report experiencing no discomfort or sensation during the actual radiation treatment.

What are the side effects from proton therapy?

Most patients have few or very mild side effects, such as fatigue, from proton therapy. If you do experience any side effects, they can be managed with medications, if necessary.

How long would my proton therapy treatment last?

Proton therapy treatment courses can last a number of weeks depending on the individual patient.  It is normal for patients to receive daily treatments over the course of several weeks.

Each proton therapy session lasts about 30 minutes, but is different for each patient.

What is the process for receiving treatment?

Before you receive your first proton therapy treatment, you will have a consult visit with the radiation oncologist who will manage your proton therapy treatments and a radiation oncology nurse.

Can proton therapy be combined with other treatments for cancer?

Proton therapy may be used in conjunction with other cancer treatments, including traditional radiation. Your radiation oncologist will determine a treatment plan that may include proton therapy alone or in conjunction with other treatments.

Beaumont

Why should I choose the Beaumont Proton Therapy Center?

The Proton Therapy Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak is armed with one of the most innovative and comprehensive image-guidance systems for proton beam therapy on the market today.

In addition to offering the most advanced technology, the Proton Therapy Center is adjacent to the Rose Cancer Center with full access to the equipment and amenities available at Beaumont. Beaumont is known for modern technique development in radiation oncology.

Who will be on my treatment team?

Your proton therapy treatment at Beaumont will be provided by a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts. This team includes:

  • radiation oncologists
  • radiation physicists
  • radiation therapists
  • nurses
  • dosimetrists
  • anesthesiologist (if needed, not all cases require anesthesia)

There may be several other physicians and clinical experts providing your care including a diagnostic radiologist, a social worker, a nutritionist and other health experts. Your treatment team will work with you to determine the best treatment approach for you.

How many treatment rooms are in the Proton Therapy Center?

The Beaumont Proton Therapy Center is a single-room treatment facility.

Accommodations

Are there accommodations available for patients who do not live in the Metro Detroit area?

We understand that not everyone has easy access to the Proton Therapy Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. Proton therapy requires frequent, usually daily, sessions for several weeks. To support our patients who come from outside the Royal Oak area, Beaumont is working with area hotels to arrange for patients to stay nearby for an easier daily commute.