ASCO Guide Addresses High Costs of Cancer Care

New guide aims to improve doctor-patient communication regarding cancer care costs
By Lisa Cockrell, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Communication between patients and their doctors regarding the high cost of cancer care may be improved with the Feb. 5 release of a new patient guide from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

ASCO, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., has initiated a broad effort to address the burden of high costs affecting cancer patients and their doctors. As part of this effort, ASCO appointed a Cost of Cancer Care Task Force that was comprised of preeminent oncologists and representatives from patient advocacy groups. A goal of this task force is to guide physicians on actions they can take in response to the high cost of health care, and to advise on potential policy solutions.

The patient guide includes a list of questions for cancer patients to ask their physicians regarding the cost of their health care, resources for patients having issues related to employment or health insurance, and a list of financial resources that are available to cancer patients. A glossary of medical and financial terms is also included.

"Our goal as doctors is to provide our patients with the best medicine possible based on the best science available, but the cost of care is starting to creep into the exam room and affect the treatment decisions we make with our patients," said Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., the president of ASCO.

ASCO Website

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