What Factors Affect the Cost of Radiation Therapy?

Erin J. Hill

The main factors which will affect the cost of radiation therapy are the types and amounts of medications and therapies being used. Those who require multiple rounds of radiation will pay more than those who need fewer doses of treatment. The hospital or medical center, costs charged by the doctors themselves, and the location in which a patient lives may also impact the total cost of radiation therapy.

Part of radiation therapy's cost can depend on the hospital or medical center.
Part of radiation therapy's cost can depend on the hospital or medical center.

There isn’t much a patient can do in many cases to lower the cost of radiation therapy. Radiation is used primarily in the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases, and the type of therapy used is generally targeted to treat the type of disease present. When life is hanging in the balance, there is less room for negotiation on types of medication or dosages.

The primary factor which raises the cost of radiation therapy is the number of rounds of treatment required. Each individual administration of the treatment raises the price. Not only do the medications and equipment themselves cost money, but the staff members, hospitals, and doctors involved may charge individual fees as well. These costs are generally covered by insurance.

Various hospitals and geographical locations may also charge different prices. The price of medications will be similar in most areas, but doctors and medical centers will also have individual fees which will be charged to the patient. Payment arrangements are often available to make expenses more affordable to those who do not have insurance coverage.

Aside from the therapy itself, other costs can arise during radiation therapy which may make treatment more expensive. Patients who have to travel away from home will incur additional costs for housing and moving expenses. Others may have to spend money on gas going to and from the treatment center.

Some countries provide medical care for all citizens free of charge. Health care is paid for with tax dollars in these areas, but there are no additional out of pocket expenses for those who require intensive treatments. In these areas, the cost of radiation therapy is paid for by the government and individual patients do not have the same stresses for covering medical bills.

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