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Too Expensive

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Cancer care is expensive — that's certainly not a new concept. But a new report commissioned by Lancet Oncology shows just how expensive and unaffordable care is becoming, reports Reuters' Kate Kelland. An "explosion" of new technology and drugs, combined with rising rates of the disease, mean that patients are becoming less and less able to pay for the latest life-saving advances, she adds. The report says there should be a shift in thinking to ensure treatments are priced fairly, and that new technologies add tangible value to the cancer research field. "The cost of new cancer cases is already estimated to be about $286 billion a year, with medical costs making up more than half the economic burden and productivity losses account for nearly a quarter, according to Economist Intelligence United data cited in the report," Kelland says. "The report, led by Richard Sullivan of Britain's King's Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre in London, said policy-makers, doctors, patients groups and the health industry should work together to find ways to stem future cost rises."

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