Cancer, Cost and Life

No one likes being told they have cancer. Luckily there are many new treatments and a large number of patients can live very long lives with cancer.

It’s time to look at a new way of funding your health care benefits.

I majored in government and I minored in German. Some cancers are so treatable that they are becoming like chronic diseases; visit the doctor, do a scan and some labs once a year as a followup. Treatment costs for a surviving cancer patient have risen over $4,000 a year, with no change to treatment protocol, since 2012. there are some cancers that are hard to treat and many have no effective treatment. Cancer drugs have been in wide spread shortage and the prices have been going up, huge increases sometimes over 500%. A study showed the cost of a new cancer patient in 2012 compared to a new patient in 2015 has risen over $17,000. Breast cancer treatment is one of the cancers whose treatment is rapidly become more effective. Recently the addition of pertuzumab has increased life expectancy for HER2 positive breast cancer patients by 15. 7 months. But the cost is $713,219. That’s $45,000 for each addition life month. Someone is paying for these drugs. The insurance company and the patient. As high deductible plans grow in use what patient can afford the deductible of $5,000 to begin treatment or the 20% co-insurance of $10,000?

More info-graphics on the drugs increase can be found. An article about the costs of drugs and quality of life years can be found.


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