Doctors work for a living, like everyone else. We radiation oncologists are not saints; we get paid to work, so we have an incentive to recommend radiation treatment. Having spent our whole careers in radiation treatment, we have seen many successes, but we also have a good perspective on what works and what doesn’t, and on situations where surgery, hormones or chemotherapy may actually be better for your particular situation.
Radiation treatment can do harm as well as good, and nobody is more aware of this than your radiation oncologist. Luckily, at ROA we are not so hungry that we will recommend treatment when we do not believe it is in your best interest – when the potential improvement in your chances for cure, or your quality of life, outweigh the inconvenience, expense, and risk of treatment. Radiation therapy is always a trade-off between benefits and risks, and you should never hesitate to discuss this with your doctor.
High-technology treatments such as SRS, IMRT and IGRT are expensive. The equipment costs a lot, the treatments take more time, and the investment in staff time and training is significant. This is reflected in much higher charges for the technical charges from the hospital.
You will find that we do not recommend high-tech treatments without good reason. The additional pay for the physician’s professional charges for these treatments is generally less than the physician time required. If we recommend high-tech treatment, it is because we think it will benefit you, and we are willing to spend more of our own time to make that possible.