Medical research conducted over the past 70 years has transformed society’s understanding of cancer—what it is and techniques to prevent, detect, and treat it. Research continues to uncover new findings that increase our knowledge of over 200 types of cancer—it’s the cornerstone for continued innovation and life-saving treatments.
The impact of research is evident all around us—in our friends, family members, and loved ones who are cancer fighters and survivors. Just consider this statistic: the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. increased five-fold from 1971 to 2016 alone, jumping from 3 million to 15.5 million. We hear stories from cancer survivors all the time; stories about how medical innovation and clinical trials keeps them in the fight against cancer. And, as the American Cancer Association Research stated so perfectly, “research is our best defense against cancer.”
Yet, even with the progress research has powered, the cancer incidence remains high—nearly 40% of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Not only does cancer often result in a dramatic shift in lifestyle and daily routines, but the cost burden of care also takes a significant financial toll on patients and their families. A recent study by Milliman Research outlines the rising cost, noting that the total healthcare spend for cancer care in the U.S. in 2010 was about 125 billion dollars and is projected to increase by as much as 39% by 2020. This growing financial burden has a direct effect on patient cost-sharing and results in growing out-of-pocket costs.
So, what can we as a community do to help reduce the cost burden of cancer care? Besides continuing to support research, there are other steps we can take to better prepare patients to handle the financial strain associated with cancer care. Check out the infographic below to learn more.