Knowing Your Diagnosis

Among other factors, your specific diagnosis will help determine which treatment option is best for you. Brain tumors and pediatric tumors, as well as prostate, lung, and head and neck cancer, may benefit in particular from the precision of proton therapy. It’s important to understand all there is to know about the type of cancer you have. If you have already been through treatment and reached the limit for traditional radiation, you may also benefit from talking to your doctor about proton therapy as your next step. Ask your doctor to provide the following:

  • Name and description of your cancer
  • Where it is located
  • What stage it is in
  • Age
  • Previous radiation treatment
  • Any other details that may be important in making decisions about treatment options

Our intake team will also work with you to obtain medical records so our physicians can make a thorough evaluation and recommendation for the best treatment for you. As part of the innovative Northwestern Medicine cancer care network, the Proton Center is dedicated to helping you understand your condition and treatment options.

Proton Center physician doctor Mohammed sitting and talking with an older male patient with a yellow striped t-shirt.

Knowing Your Treatment Options

Use these questions when speaking with your primary physician or oncologist; they are designed to evaluate which treatment is right for you.

  • What are all of my treatment options? What do you recommend and why?
  • Is proton therapy an option for me? What are the pros and cons?
  • How long would my treatment last—at each appointment and overall? What is the treatment like? Is it safe?
  • Will I need to alter my daily routine (e.g. going to work, exercising) because of the treatments?
  • How do we know if the treatment worked?
  • If my cancer were to come back some day, could I receive treatments again?
  • Where do I go to receive treatment?
  • Is proton therapy covered by most insurance plans?
  • Once we have decided on a course of treatment for my diagnosis, what do I do next? Who do I call? When should I start? What information do I need to have available?
A Proton Center employee wearing blue scrubs shakes the hand of a male Proton patient wearing a yellow collared shirt with tan pants.
Watch a Video: Proton Patient Testimonials To learn more, visit our Video Library.

Knowing the Side Effects

Before treatment begins, you should ask your doctor about any possible side effects. Refer to these questions to start that conversation.

  • During therapy, what side effects or complications could I experience with the different treatment options?
  • After therapy, what long-term side effects or complications could I experience with the different treatment options?

Contact Us

To discover if you or a loved one could benefit from proton therapy, please call us at 877.887.5807 (TTY 711).

Request Appointment

Video Library

We have created a library of several videos for you with key information such as:

  • What is Proton Therapy?
  • Benefits of Proton Therapy
  • Real patient stories/testimonials regarding specific tumor types
  • Virtual tour of the proton center