July 24, 2019
It can be a relief knowing you’re not alone. There are proton therapy support groups for cancer patients ready to help you.
Cancer is a threat not only to your life and health, but to your finances, job and family. It’s often the greatest challenge a person has ever faced in their life, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there are cancer patient support groups nationwide. What’s starting to become more common are support groups for current and past patients who have received proton therapy as treatment.
What Is Proton Therapy?
Proton therapy is the the most precise form of radiation treatment for cancer patients. Protons have been used to treat cancer in humans since the 1950s. Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment used by radiation oncologists to kill cancer cells. It can be more accurately and precisely targeted to only kill cancer cells, while not killing healthy tissue immediately adjacent to the cancer. This is extremely important when the cancer is right next to critical things such as the brain, the optic nerves, the heart, the esophagus, the bladder, etc. There are now well over two dozen proton therapy treatment centers in the U.S. alone, with more under construction today.
Insurers Put Profits Before Policyholders When Denying Proton Therapy
Proton therapy costs more than photon-based radiation, called IMRT, which is less accurate. Despite the fact proton therapy is a superior treatment in many instances, insurance companies are balking at paying the extra price and often deny treatments based on nothing more than a desire to be more profitable. Health insurers put claim handling systems in place that are rigged against the policyholder, including utilizing unqualified, untrained, overworked and/or biased nurses and doctors to make decisions on claims.
How Cancer Patients Can Find a Proton Therapy Support Group
Proton support group members not only help each other but also spread positive news about success stories that makes it harder for insurance companies to deny coverage. Some of these groups are about as diverse as the patients who use proton therapy.
- Proton Gals is a group for women in Knoxville, Tennessee, affiliated with Provision Healthcare.
- Proton Guys is a similar group for men.
- Proton Pals is based at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
- CancerLifeline’s SCCA Proton Therapy Support Group is in Seattle.
- Loma Linda University Cancer Center has a support group in Loma Linda, California.
- A Facebook group with 1,906 members offers support for proton therapy patients online.
- A support group of prostate cancer survivors who used proton therapy who publicly support the treatment was started in the United Kingdom in 2016. The country’s first proton therapy center didn’t open until last year.
If you’re getting proton therapy and would like to join a support group, contact the center where you’re being treated to see if one is in your area.
What to Do If Your Insurer Won’t Cover Proton Therapy
If you’re considering getting proton therapy but are getting resistance from your insurance company or coverage has been denied, call Doug Terry at (405) 400-1066. Doug has a proven track record showing that he can hold insurance companies accountable for their bad faith denials. Don’t just accept your insurance company’s proton beam therapy denial and give up. Contact Doug today to talk to an advocate who knows how to get results.