Risks

Proton therapy can cause side effects as the cancer cells die or when the energy from the proton beam damages healthy tissue. Because doctors can better control where proton therapy releases its highest concentration of energy, proton therapy is believed to affect less healthy tissue and have fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy. Still, proton therapy does release some of its energy in healthy tissue. What side effects you experience will depend on what part of your body is being treated and the dose of proton therapy you receive.

In general, common side effects of proton therapy include:

  • Fatigue
  • Mouth, eating and digestion problems
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss around the part of your body being treated
  • Skin redness around the part of your body being treated
  • Soreness around the part of your body being treated