Process to start treatment at the Proton Therapy Center in Prague
Sending the medical documentation
During the first enquiry, the treatment coordinator asks the patient questions regarding the diagnosis, as well as medical history. If all the information collected makes the patient suitable for treatment, the treatment coordinator will request official medical documentation (translated in English) and scan images based on the diagnosis. The patient will also be provided with a secure username and password to access the PTC server and upload the files directly. Alternatively, it is possible to mail the documentation.
Medical evaluation of the documentation
During the daily indication board meeting, the PTC medical team reviews the documentation received and determines whether proton therapy is suitable for the patient. If proton therapy is a suitable treatment option, the treatment coordinator informs the patient on the estimated length and cost of treatment. These are based on the number of fractions (doses) of proton radiotherapy needed. If the patient would like to proceed further, the initial consultation is scheduled. In some cases, depending on the specific diagnosis, it is also possible to do the initial consultation and treatment planning right away. The treatment coordinator can assist with flights and accommodation by providing general recommendations concerning an enjoyable and cost-effective stay in in the city.
One of our doctors meets with the patient to discuss the side effects and outcomes of treatment in their specific case, as well as the concrete treatment plan. The doctor also explains what to expect during and after the treatment. Finally, all of the patient’s questions are answered. The consultation is held in English. If desired, a translator can also be arranged for the consultation. As part of our service, if the patient agrees, the treatment coordinator is present during the consultation to give additional support. Medical treatment abroad can be a daunting prospect, especially for something as serious as cancer treatment. We take this very seriously ourselves and do everything we can to make our patients feel as comfortable and supported as possible while undergoing proton treatment here. For instance, we provide 24 hour phone support and constant face-to-face assistance throughout the entire treatment process.
The first stage of treatment involves the diagnostic scans here at the proton centre (MRI and/or CT, preparation of fixation device etc. depending on the diagnosis) and the development of a comprehensive and individualised treatment plan. The oncologists and medical physicists collaborate to carefully plan the treatment. This process can take from 4 to 8 days to finalise before treatment can commence. Individual treatment doses are usually given daily Monday to Friday each week. Each fraction (dose) takes about 30 minutes. However, the proton radiation delivery only takes a couple of minutes and is completely painless. During treatment, regular examinations with an oncologist are performed.
Therapy completion, and follow-ups
After completion of the proton treatment, the patient has a final consultation with the treating specialist. The patient receives recommendations for further care, the final medical report, and, if desired, the patient can continue the follow-up examinations at the PTC. Otherwise, it is possible to continue under the care of the treating doctor back home.