Tag Archives: cancer

A Patient Complained about the Cost of Her Medical Care. Here’s How Her Doctor Responded.

The oncologist had prescribed Xgeva hoping it would strengthen her bones while also delaying the progression of Angela Kahn’s breast cancer. But Kahn (a pseudonym) couldn’t get over the price of the drug. Before the oncologist had a chance to … Continue reading

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A Drug to Treat Cancer and Heart Disease (Miracle Cure or Media Hype?)

In a recent New York Times article, physician-author Siddhartha Mukherjee wrote about a clinical trial that he characterized as “beautiful,” for potentially illuminating a surprising connection between heart disease and cancer. Mukherjee is a justifiably acclaimed writer, who publishes regularly in The New Yorkerand The New … Continue reading

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Make Sure Your Doctor Is Treating You and Not Your Blood Tests

Shutterstock He came to the ER with chest pain, shortness of breath, and atrial fibrillation with a heart rate of almost 120 beats per minute. It wasn’t a heart attack, and it wasn’t some rare disease. He was emergently ill … Continue reading

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Is Federal Policy Really to Blame for the High Cost of Cancer Care?

(Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images) U.S. healthcare costs have been high for decades, outpacing other developed countries since at least the 1980s. But costs continue to rise, and that is causing many experts to ask why. Some people blame … Continue reading

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Why Living in a Rich Country Can Give You Cancer

Shutterstock As a primary care physician, I have counseled thousands of patients to get cancer screening—blood tests to look for prostate cancer, mammograms to detect impalpable breast cancers, and colonoscopies to find precancerous colon lesions. I’ve even tried to find … Continue reading

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More on US Healthcare Prices

In a recent post,  I showed two drugs that were much more expensive in the United States than elsewhere. One was  for rheumatoid arthritis and the other for hepatitis C. Today we get to look at a cancer drug, Avastin, … Continue reading

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The Benefits of High Health Care Expenditures

I write frequently about the high costs of healthcare, in the U.S. and in many other parts of the world. And in general, I believe strongly that most developed countries need to look seriously at how they’re spending healthcare dollars, … Continue reading

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The Cost of New Cancer Drugs (In One Picture)

“Specialty drugs” – that’s what they’re called. Not the pills of old, these pharmaceuticals are often given intravenously or through injection. Often more biologic in their synthesis than chemical, they are expensive to produce and often target narrow disease processes, … Continue reading

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Unsustainable

This picture shows changes in the cost of treating colon cancer, from 1993-2005. It shows unsustainable growth in these expenditures: By unsustainable, however, I do not mean unjustifiable. Patients with colon cancer have much better prognoses in 2005 than 1993, … Continue reading

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Don’t Let Your Physician Tell You What To Do Without Finding Out Your Goals

A recent study of men with early-stage prostate cancer found no difference in 10-year death rates, regardless of whether their doctors actively monitored the cancers for signs of growth or eradicated the men’s cancers with surgery or radiation. What does … Continue reading

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