08/06/2010 // US // Get Cancer Answers // News Desk

U.S. – The recession has caused many cancer patients to discontinue medications used to prolong their lives. As reported by HealthDay News, California oncologists recently reported on a trend in cases of patients with reoccurring tumors that had been forced to discontinue some medications because of financial constraints.

Dr. Katie Kelley, who co-authored a letter-to-the-editor in the Aug. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine regarding three patient cases, is quoted in the report as stating of the patients’ reoccurring tumors, “In all three cases, the patients developed new symptoms and came in after having missed an appointment or two without us knowing that they had stopped the drug.”

Stephen Finan, senior policy director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Washington, D.C., is further quoted as stating of the issue, “Certainly we’ve seen an increase in affordability concerns…Very definitely we’ve seen an upward trend in the last couple of years of people struggling with deductibles and cost sharing.”

As noted in the report, patient assistance programs are available that may offer assistance to patients in these circumstances. More information about these programs may be available at http://www.rxassist.org/patients/default.cfm.

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