Cancer patients forgoing treatment because of cost

As reported in USA Today, one in eight people with advanced cancer turned down recommended care because of the cost. Among patients with incomes under $40,000, one in four in advanced stages of the disease refused treatment. Of late-stage colon cancer patients, 12% spent more than $25,000 out of pocket, according to the survey, in which 1,767 people answered an online questionnaire. This type of survey isn't considered scientifically rigorous, because it didn't use a random sample of people. But its findings are similar to a 2006 study in Cancer, which found that cost caused more than 20% of all cancer survivors — not just those with advanced cases — to delay or miss needed care.

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(SOURCE: Advisory Board Daily Briefing , http://advisory.com , October 13, 2008; USA Today , http://usatoday.com , accessed October 14, 2008)