Most Cancer cases form at the age of 60 with millions of baby boomers coming to that age and using 1 out of every ten would require cancer treatment in their lifetime. Cancer is not just one disease, but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer occurs when cells in the body (the building blocks that makeup tissues and organs) begin to grow out of control.
The World Health Organization estimates cancer treatments cost more than One-Trillion dollars worldwide currently. WHO estimates the population of people older than 60 to be 1 billion in developed countries by 2020. It has been estimated that more than 1 in 3 people (33%) will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. Cancers can occur at any age, but the risk of developing cancer increases with age. Cancer isn’t common in children or young people.
However, more than a decade after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) first studied the quality of cancer care, the barriers to achieving excellent care for all cancer patients remain daunting. Care is often not patient centered, many patients do not receive palliative care to manage their symptoms and side effects from treatment, and decisions about care often are not based on the latest scientific evidence.
This lecture presents a conceptual framework for improving the quality of cancer care for cancer care teams, patients, their families, researchers, and insurance companies. This framework is based on the IOM’s report, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis, which recommends that cancer care be patient-centered, evidence-based, and continuous.
Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. is the Director of Cancer Prevention & Control Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Published on May 9, 2014
Cancer patients and their families face daunting challenges when confronted with a cancer diagnosis. They must deal with the physical, emotional, and financial effects of cancer. Cancer care teams must provide high-quality care while navigating a complex system. And insurance companies must ensure that patients have access to care while also controlling costs.
In order to be patient-centered, cancer care must be coordinated and integrated across all care settings, including the primary care office, the hospital, and the home. Patients should have a central role in decision-making, and their preferences should guide treatment choices.
Cancer care should be based on the latest scientific evidence. In order to make sure that patients receive the best possible care, cancer care teams should use clinical practice guidelines. These guidelines help to ensure that patients receive the right tests and procedures, as well as the most effective treatments.
Cancer care should be continuously monitored and improved. This can be done through the use of quality measures, which help to track the delivery of care and identify areas in need of improvement.
Improving the quality of cancer care is an essential goal for all involved in the cancer care system. By working together, cancer patients, their families, cancer care teams, researchers, and insurance companies can make sure that all cancer patients receive the high-quality care they deserve.
The pace of annual global spending on oncology medicines only is approaching the $100 billion threshold, this has somewhat stabilized over the past five years, even as a surge in innovative and targeted therapies has brought new therapeutic options to the growing number of patients being treated for cancer. The survival rates for most tumor types continue to get better.
While, oncology spending remains concentrated among the U.S. and the five largest European countries – which together account for 65 percent of the total market.
Targeted therapies have dramatically increased their share of global oncology sales, from 11 percent a decade ago to 46 percent last year. Payers have intensified their scrutiny of the value of these medicines relative to their incremental benefits over existing treatments. At the same time, the average cost per month for a branded oncology drug in the U.S. is now approximately $10,000, up from an average of $5,000 a decade ago.
"As the cancer patient population mix shifts from mature and developed markets to low - and middle-income countries, oncology is bringing higher levels of uncertainty to health systems across the globe – both in terms of the nature and rate of innovative treatments, and levels of reimbursement for patient care," said Murray Aitken, IMS Health senior vice president and executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
"While an estimated 30 percent of cancers are preventable and early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or delay mortality significantly, the reality is that countries struggle to bring together the right combination of preventive measures and clinical interventions, including vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics."