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Nev Black

Many of the men in this support group have had radiation therapy soon after the primary treatment, Radical Prostatectomy. 

Does anyone have a baseball park cost of this radiation treatment.

Nev

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GrahamW

Nev

I had radiotherapy at a later stage - after resistance to Zoladex - in 2015 at the Epworth in Richmond (Melbourne), a private not-for-profit hospital.

I had 35 doses of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) to the prostate area (where it used to be), plus 10 doses of higher intensity stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SBRT) to a lymph node. 

So this doesn't really answer your question as I can't tell you how much the IMRT part was, but the total invoiced cost was almost $25k. The whole thing cost me $1700.  

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GregR

Had mine at St George public hospital in Sydney, no cost to me as it was covered bu Medicare 

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Brian G

My private Urologist's go to Oncologist is in a public hospital, so no cost to me either.

Both my brothers also had private Urologists who treated them in public hospitals too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charles (Chuck) Maack

Here is some info I saved as to the cost of first-line radiation treatment in the U.S. if you don't have health insurance to cover that cost:

 

July 1, 2016 - Trends in the use of radiation for primary (first-line) treatment of prostate cancer

 

 

A few median cost of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy, Proton Beam Radiation Therapy, and Brachytherapy:

 

Median cost of Stereotactic Body Radiation (SBRT): $27,145 (picking up in use)

 

Median cost of Proton Beam Radiation Therapy (PBRT): $54,706

 

Median cost of Brachytherapy: $17,183 (lowest cost of the three but declining in use)

 

 

http://tinyurl.com/hy32yk7

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Patrick Turner
14 hours ago, GrahamW said:

but the total invoiced cost was almost $25k. The whole thing cost me $1700.  

I had very similar IMRT with Calypso at Epworth in 2016, and to 2 upper chest lymph nodes which were the first of 2 mets to appear in PsMa Ga68 scan at Bridge Rd in Melbourne. I am not insured, so I was invoiced $26,000, and Uncle Medicare coughed up $12,000, but Epworth paid for 30 days accommodation at Ryder-Cheshire at Ivanhoe, plus paid for a lot of taxi fares, when there were no voluntary car drivers to ferry ppl to several hospitals each day.

I do not know if the IMRT worked at all. I had EBRT to my inoperable PG in 2010 after first 6 months of ADT. Psa went up while continuing ADT into 2016, so extra EBRT to PG was not feasible at Canberra Hospital hence I took option offered at Epworth. I also began Cosadex that kept Psa low for only 6 months before beginning Zytiga in addition to ADT. I really doubt Epworth is a non profit hospital; its private, and the idea of any private company not operating for profit is an oxymoron. And the Epworth fix was based on what a Dr Shultz in USA had published in American Medical Clinical Journal in 2011 where he wrote that his "salvation" IMRT gave remission in 47 patients. I had to have radio beacons inserted to PG for Calypso to aim correctly for the 26 fractions of RT. So 10 days before IMRT began a uro doc inserted 3 beacons into PG using "applicator" ie, 5mm dia needle while under anaesthetic and through perineum. I don't know how many stabs at PG were made to get beacons in right position, but after I came out of anaesthetic and while in recovery, I got big bleeding and blood clots and at 2am next am needed a catheter put, and the kept me in hospital for 2 days costing about  $800 per day. The bleeding should NOT have happened but docs at Epworth were so dumb they didn't know that even a minor operation of beacon insertion was going to lead to massive bleeding due to previous EBRT of 70Grey I had in 2010 as primary treatment. A specialist doc came to see me on sunday am on 2nd day and he said he's done 1,500 brachy therapies and had only 1.4% of cases where a man bled a lot. That was bullshit to me because when BT is done, its before the PG tissues have been affected by RT, so after BT,  most men stop bleeding within minutes and heal up, despite maybe 100 pellet insertions. So why did the BT specialist cite the rarity of my condition when any one else, even Dr Blind Freddy, should have known I'd bleed. I was the first patient in Oz to have the salvation RT where the initial treatment was EBRT. The IMRT I had was 31Grey, so that brought total RT to PG to 101. To stop damage to rectum, the uro doc also inserted a hydrogel pad 3cm dia and 1cm thick - maybe, but a very small amount of gunk.

That prevented some extra damage to rectum. After returning home to ACT after 5 weeks in Melbourne, I was OK for a fortnight, Psa went down, and then I had The Most Appalling 2months of radiation colitis of the bowel where I became a poo spraying entity. That problem eased off, and I continued good QOL and cycling. 

So the private hospital was not unable to make cock ups. I don't regret getting the extra IMRT, but it Calypso IMRT is a bit overated IMHO, because beams of rays diffuse as they pass through the body no matter how well the rays are aimed. Its known that BT can deliver 150 Grey to PG which may be needed to kill Pca cells, and without damage to bowels. But with such high amount of RT, damage to nerves and prostatic urethra can be significant, with incontinence later. But I am still fully continent now though, so if RT had such a small effect on my healthy tissue, maybe it wasn't ever going to be a fix for Pca, and most of the Pca suppression was with ADT, Cosadex, and Zytiga.

I searched for evidence that Dr Shultz's claims about salvation radiation were true and found none at all, so he may have done hundreds patients, but said he had 47 cases of remission. Remissions of Pca are scarce as hen's teeth, so I figured Dr Shultz was making a claim too good to be true and Epworth based my treatment in what may have been bullshit. I discussed all this in a few emails with boss doc at Epworth, and I nearly quit my treatment there, but finally gave my "uninformed consent" to allow him to proceed. The giving of IMRT in Epworth was done very professionally and I could see that direction of beams were not same at used in 2010 EBRT. But a friend who had a full amount of RT by Calypso to a previous site of his RP had Pca continue on afterwards, and almost nothing the docs could do prevented him dying 3 years after diagnosis.

Patrick Turner.

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Geoff Buttfield

Stereotactic to mets at Epworth Melbourne, 2016 and 2019 (2 spots ea time) Invoice cost about S12k ea time, but Medicare Safety Net means actual cost around $1700 ea treatment, plus PSMA scans @ $700 ea. Travel and Accommodation in Melbourne at my own expense. 

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Charles (Chuck) Maack

 

There are a wide variety of who charges what, and for the person who must pay out-of-pocket, it behooves that person to check around, as well as encourage the treating physician to assist, in finding the least expensive location for radiation treatment.  Keep in mind that there are many other radiation and ancillary services (eg, weekly status checks, the computed tomography simulation, imaging, laboratory tests) that are delivered and billed before or during the course of treatment and would affect the total cost of care.

What is most disturbing to the individual who must pay out-of-pocket are the charges when Medicare is the payer, and the astronomical increase in charges to the individual who does not have Medicare.  Even insurers may have differing arrangements for charges with radiologists, hospitals, or other facilities who provide radiation services wherein the individual insured may have co-pays higher than that of a different insurer.  Work is underway in the U.S. pressing for more transparency in knowing radiation costs; hopefully that will bear some fruit.

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Nev Black

Thans for everyone's contribution on this subject.

Truly appreciated. 

Nev Black 

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