July 24, 2015 – Money and Cancer


Anchor lead:  How can fiscal concerns be considered along with cancer treatment? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Cancer treatment frequently places an enormous financial burden on people, between an inability to work, copays, and huge costs for certain drugs. Studies demonstrate that when viewed in hindsight, many people wish they had just said no to certain treatments. Now ASCO, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, has stepped into the breach with a new guide on how clinicians might approach such a discussion. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the initiative.

Nelson: This arises out of a concern for the full impact of a cancer diagnosis on someone and their family.  For many people a cancer diagnosis constitutes not only a lethal threat but a devastating economic challenge related to the cost of care.  What the American Society for Clinical Oncology has tried to do, they created a task force to say how can information about the cost of care best be communicated to people trying to make decisions about what care strategies to pursue.  :31

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.