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Tennessee's only proton therapy cancer treatment center celebrated its formal grand opening Wednesday.

The Provision Center for Proton Therapy held a ribbon cutting and celebration, including tours of the facility. The center started seeing patients in January.

Proton therapy uses a single beam of high-energy protons to treat different forms of cancer.

Olympic gold medalist and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton says the center will help change the cancer community.

"I've had chemotherapy, I've had radiation, I've had surgery for cancer, brain tumors, but proton therapy is... man, that's the way to go," he said.

Advocates say proton therapy causes fewer side effects than traditional cancer therapies, but it isn't always covered by insurance.

The new Knoxville center is one of only 14 places in the country that offers the treatment.

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