What is Proton Therapy?
Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy used to treat cancers and noncancerous tumors. It uses high-energy beams from positively charged particles known as protons to treat tumors. According to the Mayo Clinic, “studies have suggested that proton therapy may cause fewer side effects than traditional radiation,” but it is “not clear whether proton therapy is more effective in prolonging lives.”
If your insurance company denied coverage for proton therapy, contact Attorney Group today for more information about your options. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a case, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Types of Cancers Treated with Proton Therapy
Not all cancers are treated with proton therapy. Proton therapy may be used to treat certain cancers and conditions, including:
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Ocular and other eye conditions
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Tumors affecting the base of the skull
In addition, researchers are investigating proton therapy as a treatment for anal cancer, bladder cancer, and cervical cancer.
Proton Therapy Insurance Coverage
Very few hospitals in the United States offer proton therapy, and insurance coverage for proton therapy is limited due to the cost of the treatment. Although proton therapy could potentially lead to fewer side effects, some insurance companies began denying coverage for proton therapy.
According to a report by Alliance for Proton Therapy Access, “nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of cancer patients aged 18 to 64 whose physicians recommended proton therapy as the best course of treatment for their disease are initially denied by their insurer.” In some cases, patients and their physicians are able to successfully reverse the denial, but the average wait time is nearly three weeks.
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