Sunday, November 29, 2009

Many Cancer Treatments Not Cost Effective

There is an article in today's Washington Post with some information that I expect many people do not want to hear. The bottom line is that treatment for most cancers is ineffective and very expensive.
At the moment, there is a giant disconnect between patients, the cost of care and the clinical benefit of the treatment -- a disconnect that has caused us to lose perspective. When it comes to cancer care, we're not getting what we pay for.
But we are talking about someone's life! Yeah, well maybe spending thousands of dollars a month on ineffective cancer treatments might make you feel like you are doing something rather than nothing, but all that is really happening is....well, nothing.

How did we get to where we are in cancer treatment? In spite of the billions of dollars spent on the "war on cancer" we actually have no "evidence-based medicine" on which treatments are effective. Accepting this situation means, I guess, that maybe we will have "rationing" and "death panels" in some areas of medicine where treatments are just not effective. Maybe more time and money need to be put into counseling patients about their untreatable conditions rather than tens of thousands of dollars on the hope of a miracle cure.

Speaking of "death panels" read this. There is sometimes a limit on what an emergency room can do for you.

1 comment:

catharus said...

Thanks! Great article!