Are You Concerned about the Latest Republican Healthcare Proposal?

Cancer proton therapy

Unless you have been living under a rick the last two weeks, it is impossible to not be aware of the raging healthcare debate in the U.S. As the Republicans try to find enough votes to push their new plan through the first process they appear to be short the votes they need. As the Democrats and many other healthcare organizations, as well as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), report that the new plan could mean 22 million more uninsured individuals.
And while the proposing groups of senators have a long list of reasons of how this repeal of the Affordable Care Act will save the nation’s healthcare system. Voters, on the other hand, no matter which side they support see the latest plan as having one very significant goal: the Republican party’s seven-year push to repeal the most significant domestic achievement of President Barack Obama. Although it may seem impossible to wade through all of the information being presented by both sides of the healthcare debate, if you have recently been diagnosed with a condition that requires a specific treatment like proton radiation therapy you only know that you need this treatment covered!
Proton Radiation Therapy and Other Treatment Options Provide Hope for Many Patients
This is the week when Americans will see if the Republicans can push their new healthcare plan through the necessary voting and funding processes, but this is only one week in the fight that cancer patients will be battling for a much longer time. Losing access to healthcare is a frightening thought, especially if you are working with a doctor in the treatment for breast cancer or treatment options for prostate cancer. Advanced cancer treatment options can create unexpected miracles, but many fear that they will not be able to financially survive access to these options.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the use of proton radiation therapy options and other non-invasive cancer treatment platforms:

  • Proton therapy is a radiation plan that stops at a very specific point in the targeted tissue. Conventional radiation, on the other hand, continues beyond the tumor. The use of proton radiation therapy for breast cancer treatment, for instance, can mean no radiation to the heart, as well as an average of 50% less radiation to the lung when compared with conventional radiation.
  • Researchers report that 99% of men treated with proton therapy with low risk prostate cancer have no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow up.
  • Researchers report that 94% of men treated with proton therapy with intermediate risk prostate cancer have no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow up.
  • Researchers report that 74% of men treated with proton therapy with high risk prostate cancer have no signs of cancer recurrence after five years of follow up.
  • 80 treatment rooms in more than 30 particle therapy centers were under construction worldwide by the beginning of 2015.
  • The U.S. will be home to almost 27 proton therapy centers by the end of 2017, according to the US Proton Therapy Outlook 2017 by RNCOS. This number is almost double the number in 2015, and looks to attain revenue of $1.17 billion.
  • Studies have found that prostate cancer patients treated using proton therapy have a significantly reduced risk of impotency because this therapy?s targeted approach. In fact, 94% of men reporting that they remain sexually active after treatment.
  • 59% decreases in the radiation dose to gastrointestinal structures is seen in proton therapy treatments when it is compared to X-ray procedures.
  • 15 to 45 minutes is the general length of proton therapy treatment sessions, although the actual time spent delivering the protons to the tumor is generally only a minute or two.
  • 67,000 people worldwide have received proton therapy at centers in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. This treatment was first used to treat patients in a 1955 research setting, but its use was initially limited because imaging techniques could not yet accurately pinpoint tumors.

As the top politicians continue to gauge the support and nonsupport of the new proposed GOP healthcare bill, cancer patients across the country want a clear answer to their bottom line: will the treatments they need be covered? Will they be one of the predicted 22 million people who could lose their coverage?

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