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National Survey: Americans Fear Paying for Cancer Treatment As Much As Dying of the Disease
Date:7/8/2009

WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) announced results of a national survey that reveals the inability to pay for cancer care is among Americans' top fears about the disease. Seven out of ten report being very concerned about paying for cancer treatment if they developed the disease (69%), the same proportion who are very concerned about dying of it (68%). Only the cancer consequences of having a poor quality of life (75%) and being in pain (72%) evoke slightly more concern.

COA commissioned Opinion Research Corporation to survey a statistically representative sample of 1,022 adult Americans 18 years of age or older. The survey was conducted June 26-30, 2009.

These Americans speak from experience: 79% of the survey respondents reported having a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer. Other top concerns regarding a cancer diagnosis include being unable to work (61%) and leaving their families in debt (59%).

"The need for healthcare reform is especially critical for cancer care," explained Patrick Cobb, M.D., president of COA and managing partner of Hematology-Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies in Billings, Montana. "The increasing cost of drugs, declining Medicare reimbursement, and current financial crisis have created a 'perfect storm' that jeopardizes community cancer clinics, where most Americans with cancer are treated."

The survey reveals a lack of confidence in the cancer healthcare payment system, including both private insurance plans and the Medicare system. Less than half (45%) believe their private insurance plans would cover the full cost of cancer treatment, while only 25% believe Medicare would cover treatment costs. Only 41% believe they would be covered for care in a community cancer clinic, where 84% of cancer treatment actually occurs.

Dr. Cobb continued, "Though the U.S. has the best cancer care
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SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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