One would expect the patient’s care team (physicians, nurses, etc.) to cover most aspects of cancer treatment such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and side effects. The two areas where the American Cancer Society can provide significant education and support are financial and insurance issues and questions. Understanding what is covered and how to pay for treatment can be overwhelming and confusing, which is why I would recommend these services. The ACS can help a patient find ways to get help paying their medical bill, paying for prescriptions, and direct the patient to programs and resources to help with cancer-related expenses (American Cancer Society, 2017a). Helping the patient find financial support for bills can reduce family stress as the costs can be ruinous to a family. Mariotto et al in 2011 published a report estimating the average cost to treat lung cancer after patient deductible adjustments and coinsurance for patients over 65 years of age is approximately $60,000 for brain cancer, $80,000 for ovarian cancer, and $115,000 for brain cancer (National Cancer Institute, n.d.).
2.According to statistics published by the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 1.5 million new cancer cases diagnosed each year over the next decade. What factors contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans? What changes in policy and practice are most likely to affect these figures over time?
There are various causes of cancer in the United States include smoking and tobacco products, alcohol, diet and lack of physical activity, sun exposure and other forms of radiation, viral infections, and genetics (American Cancer Society, 2017d). Mortality rates have declined 18% between 1969 and 2013 but have slowed since possibly due to the obesity epidemic in America (American Cancer Society, 2015). Changes in practice to affect the mortality rate of cancer include early detection through screening (breast, colorectal cancer), education on risk factors (smoking and tobacco products), and targeted and less toxic treatments (American Cancer Society, 2015).
3.Select a research program from among those funded by the American Cancer Society. Describe the program and discuss what impact the research will have on the prevention or treatment of cancer.
The American Cancer Society supports a program for clinical cancer research, nutrition, and immunology which investigates “new ways to identify and monitor cancer, explore how the immune system can be used to fight cancer, and increase our understanding of the effects of the environment on cancer, among other areas of research,” (American Cancer Society, 2017c). Focusing on the nutrition aspect of cancer prevention has found a link between obesity and cancer risk. Cancer Prevention Study I “provided the first epidemiologic evidence that obesity increases risk of premature death, and subsequent studies from CPS-II helped to establish the link between obesity and death from breast, colorectal and other cancers,” (American Cancer Society, 2017b). The research is ongoing into obesity and cancer. “With nearly 28% of US adults being obese, we will study the evolving role of diet, physical activity, aging and the built environment on changes in overweight and obesity to better inform cancer prevention programs. In addition, given the increasing number of adults who have lived with obesity throughout adolescence and young adulthood, we will examine long-term obesity in relation to cancer incidence and survival,” (American Cancer Society, 2017b). These studies can reduce the risk of cancer by educating the public on factors they can control in reducing their cancer risks.