you are certainly correct about
proton therapy. it is also a wave of the present. it is a wonderful treatment not only for PC but for many other types of cancer. where I am being treated, i see many beautiful innocent young kids each day being treated with proton therapy for brain and other types of cancers. it has had a deep emotion impact on me, but hopefully it will cure their cancer.
as far as medicare is concerned, it is paying 80% of my proton treatments and my supplemental insurance is paying the remaining 20%. i don't know the total cost, but i assume that it is at least $40,000-$50,000 or more from what i have read. it is one of the most expensive treatments for PC, but medicare has endorsed it. yes, i have read that some private health insurers will not cover proton therapy or give their patients a very hard time because less costly radiation treatments are available. often patients try to fight their insurers and i believe that some win--but the battle takes a lot of stressful energy. IMRT and IGRT x-ray radiation are much less costly and some insurers feel that this form of treatment is as good as proton therapy. nevertheless, proton radiation is considered safer because it has less potential of damaging good tissue surrounding the target area. x-ray radiation has been getting more sophisticated in recent years, but there are no definitive studies yet that i am aware of, to prove one way or the other, that x-ray and proton radiation are comparable in terms of success and potential side effects. my radiation oncologist told me recently that medicare wants longer-term studies made to determine this, which makes a lot of sense. in the meantime, i decided to have proton treatments instead of x-ray treatments. all the best to you.
68, Biopsy 9/27/06, Stage T1c, PSA 7.1, Gleason 6 [less than 5% in two areas], Gleason 7 (3+4) [less than 20% in third area], negative DRE, bone scan and MRI. Starting proton radiation therapy 2/22/07.
Post Edited (pcdave) : 4/5/2007 3:40:47 PM (GMT-6)