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Proton Beam Therapy Better for Prostate Cancer?

$32,500 Price Tag

A study reported at another cancer meeting last winter showed that men treated with proton beams later had about one-third more bowel problems, such as bleeding and blockages, than similar men given conventional radiation.

Proton beam therapy is about 70% more expensive than IMRT, says James Yu, MD, a radiation oncologist at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

A review of Medicare claims data showed the average amount that Medicare reimbursed for proton beam therapy is about $32,500 vs. about $18,500 for IMRT.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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