ecancermedicalscience

Short Communication

Low-value practices in oncology contributing to financial toxicity

16 Mar 2017
Bishal Gyawali

Financial toxicity of cancer treatment is now a well-recognised problem in cancer medicine leading to patient bankruptcy and even poor survival, including in high-income countries and countries with public health care systems. Many oncologists, despite acknowledging the severity of financial toxicity as a problem, resign the responsibility of reducing the costs of cancer treatment to the government, industry, and oncology societies. However, an oncologist can play an important role in reducing the costs of cancer treatment because all cancer treatment decisions are made between the oncologist and the patient. In this article, I point out a few examples of low value practices from various oncology disciplines that we oncologists can easily replace or abandon in our practice and contribute to lessening the financial toxicities to patients and society. As these examples suggest, reducing cost does not necessarily mean compromising efficacy. We should continuously keep looking for other similar cost-saving strategies in our practice.

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