The current state of cancer care in North America

Joseph F. O’Neill, Thomas J. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cancer treatment is slowly becoming more effective against both common (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate) and uncommon cancers (gastrointestinal stromal tumors, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and relapsed leukemia) due to advances in targeted treatments and immunotherapy. At the same time, the incidence of cancer is rising due to longer life-spans, cigarettes, diet, and obesity. An added stress is the rising cost of cancer treatment with new treatments priced at US$14,000 a month or more, with little relationship to value. This confluence has stressed health care systems in resourced and under-resourced countries. We present data that illustrate palliative care, when used together with oncology and other specialties, improves the quality and quantity of life for patients and reduces caregiver distress. By reducing end-of-life hospitalizations when not desired and encouraging home care when possible, palliative care reduces costs, making it “better care at a cost we can afford.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCancer Care in Countries and Societies in Transition
Subtitle of host publicationIndividualized Care in Focus
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319229126
ISBN (Print)9783319229119
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Concurrent care
  • Immunotherapy
  • Improved quality and quantity of life
  • Palliative care
  • Precision medicine
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The current state of cancer care in North America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this