More than one million people will hear the words ‘you've got cancer’ this year.
Just as frightening as the diagnosis is the treatment.
Radiation can be painful, but now a new treatment promises better outcomes with fewer side effects.
Ben Smith was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He became one of the first people in the country to fight his cancer with proton beam therapy.
Dr. Nancy Mendallhall, of the Proton Therapy Institute, stated "It opens up the door for all types of new treatment approaches and treatment intensity."
A proton beam carries higher, more targeted doses of radiation straight into the tumor.
Only the tumor gets intense treatment.
So, unlike standard radiation, no surrounding tissue is damaged.
Another benefit is treatment is cut down from months to just days, and each one lasts less than three minutes.
Right now, there are five clinics in the country offering the therapy.