top of page

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.130

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura PhD.

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D.,PhD., Yuki Senoo

259 Proton beams can reach the deep part of the body

The previous articles introduced how current cancer treatment consists of three standard therapies: surgery, anticancer drugs (chemotherapy), and radiation therapy. Moreover, using irradiation to treat cancer cells is one of the options as effective as surgery or chemotherapy.


Cancer treatment often involves radiotherapies using electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays, which are similar to the visible light and radio waves used in cell phones. Furthermore, radiotherapy also uses "particle radiation" such as proton beams. Particle radiation is made of atoms, protons, neutrons, and electrons, which make up all matter.


Proton beams are selected according to the type of disease and location of the lesions. However, it is not yet widely available in Japan. In Japan, insurance coverage for proton beam therapy is limited to only a few diseases, such as some pediatric diseases and prostate cancers.