Radiation Versus Chemo-Not Even Close

Radiation Therapy alone cures more cancers than Chemotherapy.

Radiation Therapy alone cures more cancers than Chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy, not surprisingly, is easy to demonize. Radiation therapy is often misunderstood not only by patients but also by physicians. But did you know that radiation therapy alone can cure many more cancers, including 2 of the 4 major cancers – like lung cancer and prostate cancer – than chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy alone can cure only the rare solid cancers of choriocarcinoma in women and testicular cancer in men.  Chemotherapy of course can cure a number of hematologic malignancies like leukemia and lymphoma.

Yet it’s the solid tumors – breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer – that kill most Americans.  And radiation therapy stands front and center in the battle against those cancers.

Major advances in radiation beam aiming and shaping – like IMRT and high dose rate brachytherapy implants – have reduced collateral damage to surrounding normal tissue.  And stereotactic radiosurgery, like that delivered by Cyber Knife, has done that and more. Cyber Knife has reduced overall radiation treatment times from 6-8 weeks to 3-5 days.

SOLID CANCERS CURED BY                                      SOLID CANCERS CURED BY                                     RADIATION ALONE                                                     CHEMOTHERAPY ALONE     
  • Prostate                                                           Choriocarcinoma in women
  • Head and Neck                                               Testicular Cancer
  • Lung
  • Cervical
  • Skin

Our national meeting is taking place in Boston this week.  The title of the meeting is “Enhancing Value and Improving Outcomes.”  Lots of new information will be presented.  Lots of new technologies and improvements on existing technology will be highlighted.

I wonder if the forest will be lost for the trees?  The real story of radiation therapy over the past 50 years is that radiation therapy alone can cure many more cancers than chemotherapy and at a fraction of the cost.  Yet there is no mention of radiation therapy in the Obamacare “Moon Shot Against Cancer”.

That message has been lost under the burden of Obamacare as radiation therapy reimbursement has been cut dramatically – threatening the future of radiation therapy itself.

If you have any questions about treatment of your cancer, please feel free to call me, Dr. Edward Hughes, at 855-Dayton1.  We are the only cancer center in Dayton that guarantees that you will be seen within 1-3 days of your call, not 1-3 weeks.