Skyrocketing Cancer Treatment Costs a Concern

Oncologists Report Patients Rationing Medication, Avoiding Treatments
   WASHINGTON - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 10/9/10 - Ninety five percent of the nation's oncologists report a rise in their patients' concerns over treatment costs in the past six months, according to a survey conducted by MDLinx (, one of the U.S.'s largest doctor portals. More than 60 percent of US oncologists regularly visit the websites of MDLinx, whose services help physicians stay current with latest and most important medical research in each specialty.
   The survey of 106 U.S. oncologists was conducted from August 20 to August 30, 2010. Respondents were asked about their patients’ financial concerns over the first six months of 2010. Eighty four percent of respondents said they had invested more time and effort into the financial planning of patients' treatments in the last six months than at any time previously. Sixty-seven percent of responding doctors reported patients rationing medications or forgoing treatment due to financial and insurance coverage concerns.
   Aki Tomaru, CEO of M3 USA, which owns the MDLinx site, says that oncology patients' heightened financial challenges may be the result of several factors.
   "We believe that the change in the air in the United States regarding medical coverage has injected an additional measure of anxiety for what is already often the most anxious times of these people's lives," Tomaru said. "In addition, the continuing grinding effect of the worldwide economic downturn has its obvious effects as well."
    Wisconsin-based oncologist Dr. Shahid Shekhani says that patients are canceling appointments, follow up visits, and even treatment due to financial concerns. “I just had a young grandmother, in her 60s, halt lung cancer treatment that would have extended her survival in order to preserve her family’s finances and her ability to leave an inheritance to her children.”
    MDLinx aggregates medical articles and research from more than 1,200 peer-reviewed journals and leading news media every weekday. Its physician editors rank, sort and summarize this content into 36 medical specialty sites and more than 800 subspecialty sections. MDLinx is owned by M3 USA, a Sony Group Company. The company specializes in creating effective communication channels between physicians and industries who wish to reach them.
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