Have questions about proton therapy, how it works and if it’s right for you? See answers to some of the most common questions we receive here.

If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us!

What is proton therapy?

Proton therapy is similar to conventional radiation therapy but, due to its precision, reduces the impact of negative side effects and the likelihood of cancer recurrence. It has become the gold standard for accurately targeting tumors and minimizing damage to healthy tissues.

What makes proton different from conventional radiation?

Unlike conventional photons and x-rays, protons deposit their maximum energy into a patient’s tumor, then stop, preserving healthy tissue. The use of proton therapy reduces the amount of collateral tissue damage, side effects and secondary tumors, which ensures patient comfort, while also minimizing total treatment costs.

Why should I choose the Provision Center for Proton Therapy?

When beginning the journey of cancer care, it’s important to partner with a knowledgeable and nurturing treatment center. At the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, we focus on personalized and world-class treatment for patients. Our team of experienced and passionate specialists provides effective and personal care.

What amenities will be available during my stay?

Located on the Provision Health Alliance campus at Dowell Springs, we offer access to a state-of-the-art health & wellness center, scenic walking trails and concierge service for convenient access to fun and engaging opportunities in East Tennessee.

What will the treatment process involve?

Our approach is simple: Provide comprehensive, leading-edge, personalized treatment and care for patients in a nurturing, collaborative environment. Five days a week for up to eight weeks, individuals receiving treatment will settle down in our comfortable treatment rooms, while our caring and knowledgeable radiation therapists distribute powerful and precise doses of protons to the effected area. In less than an hour, patients are treated and on their way to enjoy the beauty of East Tennessee. On weekends, you can take time to explore beyond Knoxville. With Chattanooga, Nashville, and Asheville, N.C., just a 1-2 hour drive in any direction, you can enjoy the sites, sounds, smells and tastes of this diverse, culturally-rich region of the country. The Hospitality team offers complete resources of all there is to do in this area and beyond and can assist you in determining your itinerary.

Will my insurance cover proton therapy?

Proton therapy treatment is covered by Medicare and several additional insurance providers. Our team will work with insurance representatives to outline your specific treatment and determine your benefits, doing everything in our power to ensure that you’ll receive the best possible coverage. We will be sure to clearly communicate the details of your coverage with you and respond to any questions you may have. We are prepared to discuss all financial options with our international patients, as every case is different.  This discussion follows the final diagnosis and treatment plan prescribed for the patient, as it is only until then, that we know the patient’s treatment protocol and schedule, and length of stay for treatment.

Which cancers can be treated with proton therapy?

  • Bone Cancer
  • Brain Cancer
  • Eye Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pediatric Cancer
    • Brain Tumors
    • Pediatric Sarcoma
    • Retinoblastoma
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Lymphomas
    • Other Rare Tumors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Sarcoma

Can children be treated with proton therapy?

Yes. Because of its precision, proton therapy is one of the gold standards for treating pediatric cancer. Proton therapy is effective, results in a reduction of damage to the organs and tissues surrounding the cancer and a lower risk of negative side effects.

Is proton therapy ever combined with other treatment options?

Absolutely. Depending on a patient’s diagnosis, proton may be combined with conventional radiation therapy, surgery or chemotherapy.

Are there support groups and resources available for patients undergoing proton therapy at the Provision Center for Proton Therapy?

Yes! While Knoxville has a variety of cancer-related organizations and support groups, including The Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee, we also encourage the opportunity to seek support from other patients going through the process and would be happy to connect you with other current patients or proton therapy “Ambassadors”. We can connect all of our patients to community support groups, but our greatest and most passionate support group is our Ambassadors.  This group consists of former proton therapy patients, and they are willing to speak to a prospective patient at any time, prior to, during or post- treatment.  Their words of wisdom and experience can help prospective patients navigate through the challenging time of receiving a diagnosis and considering treatment options,  treatment centers and any sort of next step in their journey.  If you are interested in speaking to an Ambassador, reach out to your care coordinator or a member of the hospitality team.

How do I know if I’m a candidate for proton?

Our collaborative team of experts will gather clinical reports and examine the specific details associated with your case in order to determine if proton therapy is the best course of treatment for you. If so, a consultation visit will be scheduled. Please call our center today and speak with a radiation oncologist to determine if you are a candidate for proton therapy treatment.

If I’m traveling to the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, are there convenient housing options for my family and me?

Yes! Our campus is conveniently located, just miles from the heart of downtown Knoxville. Click here to discover various hotels in the local area, and feel free to contact our concierge service by emailing concierge@provisionproton.com.

In the coming years, the Provision Health Alliance campus plans to include housing options for patients and their families.