ASCO: Demand for quality care increasing but millions lack access

ASCO: Demand for Quality Cancer Care Increasing
ASCO: Demand for Quality Cancer Care Increasing

(HealthDay News) -- The demand for quality cancer care is increasing, but millions of patients lack access to care, according to a report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Researchers from ASCO examined the demographic, economic, and oncology practice trends that will affect cancer care in the United States in the coming years.

According to the report, the demand for cancer prevention, screening, and treatment services is rapidly increasing, with cancer expected to become the nation's leading cause of death by 2030. Quality cancer care access remains uneven, with millions of patients lacking access to quality care, a lower rate of access for African-Americans and Latinos, and one-quarter of uninsured forgoing care because of cost. Due to the increasing costs of cancer care, the value of patient care needs to be improved. Annual costs are projected to rise to $173 billion in 2020, with the increases due to many factors, including the cost of new cancer therapies. Recommendations relating to the oncology workforce, state of oncology practice, and quality in cancer care are presented in the report.

"We're facing a collection of challenges, each one of which could keep cancer treatment advances out of reach for some individuals," ASCO president Clifford A. Hudis, M.D., said in a statement. "Without immediate efforts to address these threats to oncology practices, we're at real risk of failing tomorrow's cancer patients."

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