Breast cancer (tumor) is the most common malignancy among women and the second leading cause of death from cancer. In the Czech Republic, almost 7,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, of which 10% are in women under 45 years of age and 20% in those under 50 years of age. About 75% of women have a stage I or II disease at the time of diagnosis, with a long life expectancy.
In order to increase the chances of a long life, treatment toxicity is a key factor in choosing the modality of treatment. Major side effects in women with breast cancer are cardiac toxicity, lung toxicity and increased risk of secondary tumors. These risks are almost always associated with conventional radiotherapy. To a certain extent, the early or acute side effects of radiation therapy can be predicted and treated. However, late side effects developing after several decades are of critical importance.
Proton therapy offers a possibility to avoid these risks. Thanks to their physical properties, proton beams allow dose reduction for both critical organs, the heart and the lungs, and at the same time, reduce the risk of secondary tumors along with a significant reduction of the integral dose.