Proton Therapy is one of the most advanced and innovative emerging technologies. Although Proton Therapy seems relatively new, it’s actually been around since it was first suggested in 1946 by physicist Robert Wilson, Ph. D. Only in recent years has it become more well-known because of its current capability to be developed in conjunction with established medical centers.
There are currently 14 Proton Therapy Centers nationally to offer this type of therapy for all sorts of cancers such as brain and skull-based, esophageal, head and neck, liver, breast, lung, lymphoma, pediatric, sarcomas, and pediatric cancers. In Knoxville, we have the Provision Center for Proton Therapy, which has been advertised by the retired American Figure Skater and Olympic Gold Medalist, Scott Hamilton, who publicly shared his own battle with cancer.
Insurance coverage for Proton Therapy varies widely and is constantly changing as research develops. Although Medicare does not have a national coverage policy for Proton Therapy, it is typically covered with only a few limitations (sometimes on a case-by-case basis depending on the company).
So what exactly is it? Proton Therapy is a superior form of radiation therapy that uses higher doses of radiation while being able to control and manage cancer while significantly reducing damage to vital organs and healthy surrounding tissue. This form has the capability to provide greater levels of precision and superior management of treatment. Here’s an overview of the benefits of Proton Therapy:
- Oncologist can increase the dose to the tumor while reducing the dose to surrounding normal tissues
- Potential for fewer side effects and minimal damage to healthy tissue
- More direct impact on the tumor and increased tumor control
- Patient feels nothing during treatment and can maintain a relatively active lifestyle
- Minimized normal-tissue injury resulting in the potential for fewer effects following treatment
- Patient experiences a better quality of life during and after proton therapy
If you have any questions about Proton Therapy and how your Medicare coverage would work in relation, call our Benefit Specialists at Senior Financial Group at (865) 777-0153. To watch a video of Provision Center for Proton Therapy testimonies visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8emErs-NlI. We are extremely interested in Proton Therapy and would love to hear your comments, questions, and concerns.