Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Cancer Treatments > Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy Cost


How Much Does Radiation Therapy Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $10,000-$50,000+
post E-mail post Post   Comments (1)

Radiation therapy involves the use of radiation to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells by damaging their DNA. It also can damage normal cells. Side effects can include scarring, memory problems, infertility and, in some cases, development of another cancer.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for radiation therapy typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays as well as coinsurance of 10%-50% for procedures and surgery. Radiation therapy typically is covered by health insurance, though some insurers might not cover certain types. For example, Aetna[1] considers proton therapy experimental for certain types of cancer, such as esophageal cancer.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, radiation therapy can cost $10,000-$50,000 or more, depending on the type of cancer, number of treatments needed and especially the type of radiation used. Traditional external beam radiation tends to fall on the lower end of the range, while stereotactic radiosurgery -- which uses a special machine to target the tumor -- and proton therapy[2] tend to cost more.
  • Total costs typically include individualized treatment planning and any special equipment required. For example, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[3] in Nebraska, charges about $485 for a basic radiation therapy dose plan, $730-$1,000 for a medical physics consult, $600-$1,300 for radiation treatment aids such as special shields or casts, $490 for X-ray guidance, which uses X-rays to help the doctor target radiation delivery to the correct area, and $1,240 for CT scan guidance, which uses CT scan imaging to target radiation delivery. A study[4] in Community Oncology showed radiation treatment cost for early-stage breast cancer varied by type of radiation used, ranging from $4,500 to about $14,500. A study[5] published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that patients with prostate cancer who had traditional radiation therapy as their primary treatment had a mean cost of more than $12,000 in the first year after diagnosis. An article[6] published by the American College of Radiology states that the cost to treat prostate cancer with proton therapy radiation can reach $40,000.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery, which often is used for brain tumors or tumors that have been deemed inoperable, can cost up to $55,000 or more.
Related articles: Chemotherapy, Breast Cancer Treatment, Brain Tumor Treatment, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • External beam radiation therapy[7] involves directing radiation from a machine, through the patient's body and into the cancer site. It can be used to treat many types of cancer, including breast, lung, colorectal, prostate and brain cancers. Treatment typically is done five days a week for less than an hour, and can take a total of two to nine weeks.
  • Brachytherapy[8] , also called internal radiation therapy, involves implanting radioactive material at the tumor site to deliver focused radiation. It can be used for various types of cancer, including breast, lung, uterine and head and neck cancers. Radioactive seeds can be implanted into the tumor and left there. Or, temporary brachytherapy, in which the radiation source is temporarily inserted, then withdrawn, can be done over several days or weeks.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery[9] involves targeting high, focused doses of radiation at a tumor or brain abnormality while causing minimal harm to healthy tissue. It is most commonly used for brain tumors, but also can be used for lung, liver, spine or other tumors deep in the body or close to organs. The procedure sometimes can be done in one day, but might require multiple sessions. And proton therapy[10] uses protons, which, in some cases, can provide more targeted therapy with less damage to healthy tissue.
  • RadiologyInfo.org offers information on radiation therapy for: lung cancer[11] , prostate cancer[12] , breast cancer[13] , and colorectal cancer[14] .
  • The National Cancer Institute offers an overview[15] of radiation therapy for cancer.
Additional costs:
  • Cancer patients will need regular follow-up visits and, in some cases tests, to check for recurrence. According to the National Cancer Institute[16] , patients generally need to visit a doctor every three to four months for the first two or three years, then every six months to a year. Blood tests, health.costhelper.com/mri.html>MRIs or CT scans or endoscopy might also be required. Follow-up visits can cost form under $200 to $400 or more.
Discounts:
  • Many hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[17] in California offers a 35% discount.
Shopping for radiation therapy:
  • RTAnswers.org, a site run by the American Society for Radiation Oncology, offers a radiation oncologist locator[18] .
  • The National Cancer Institute offers a guide[19] to finding a doctor or cancer treatment facility.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
post E-mail post Post   Comments (1)
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Proton Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Amount: $79,999.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Healthy Joe in Will not say, WA.Posted: June 5th, 2014 02:06PM
Treatment Required: Proton TreatmentProvider: Western U.S.
I noticed the comment that without insurance the cash pay or out of pocket cost for proton treatment for prostate cancer can reach $40,000. I would just like to highlight that this is very dated, I paid double that cost, and in comparison with other PBRT centers in the U.S. this was at the low end... One was over $200,000 and this was considered cash rate without insurance so i expect that insurance would be billed a great deal more.. I was told by one proton center that billed charges to insurance could exceed $300,000 or more, but payment would be based on contract rate with insurance if they approved proton treatment, which in my case they did not.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With Radiation Therapy
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * not covered by insurance
Treatment Required: Provider: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/200_299/0270.html
  2.  www.mdanderson.org/patient-and-cancer-information/proton-therapy-center/faqs/index.html...
  3.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  4.  www.oncologypractice.com/co/journal/articles/0102093.pdf
  5.  meetinglibrary.asco.org/subcategories/2009+ASCO+Annual+Meeting
  6.  www.proton-therapy.org/documents/BulletinProtonArticleAmCollegeRadMar10.pdf
  7.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=ebt
  8.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=brachy
  9.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=stereotactic
  10.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=protonthera
  11.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=lungcancer
  12.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=pros_cancer
  13.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=breastcancer
  14.  www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=colorect
  15.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/radiation
  16.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping/life-after-treatment/page3
  17.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  18.  www.rtanswers.org/
  19.  www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/doctor-facility
More Health & Personal Care Topics
Check Out All Costs for Health & Personal Care How Much Do Dentures Cost? How Much Does a Knee Brace Cost? How Much Does an Emergency Room Visit Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com


Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Annual termite renewal
Paid: 313.93
A local company treated our 1948 era house for termites many years ago and we had an annual contract with them that transferred to Terminix when they bought the local company... [more]
-monicafaye
Termite Control Cost
OB Ultrasound Indiana University Health
Paid: 3699.00
I tested low on my biochemicals when I had a quad screen, which I think was taken a little too early anyway... [more]
-One Angry Momma
Ultrasound Cost
1st fill
Paid: 1.90
Just did a 400 gal fill at $1.899 which I didn't think was too bad considering some of the other prices I've heard about. This is my first house that has used propane and I am real nervous about costs... [more]
-Bluespicker
Propane Cost
Replace system with TRane XR13 coil and condensor
Paid: 6330.00
Replaced 15 year old 4ton system and gas/airflow condensor, whole system less duct work, new pans... [more]
-
Central Air Conditioner Cost
Filling
Paid: 75.00
Had to have 3 pin hole cavities filled. Two on top and one on the bottom.Total cost was $325, but after paying my deductible of $75, my dental insurance (BCBS of Texas Blue Care Dental) took care of the remaining balance of $250... [more]
-Morgan Davies
Cavity Filling Cost
Declawing
Paid: 160.00
All of our cats have been altered with sterilization. The latest cost $160. What I didn't know until too late was the adverse long-term effects ( endocrine complications) of sterilization... [more]
-AGracious
Cat Declawing Cost