Cancer As Part Of Series On Six Leading Causes Of Illness US

Armen Hareyan's picture

The New York Timeson Sunday examined cancer, the second-leading cause of death in theU.S. after heart disease, as part of a series on the six leading causesof illness and death in the U.S.

According to the Times,cancer cases "can be overwhelmingly complicated to treat" because theyoften involve several physicians, who "do not always agree." Cancerpatients might "find that at the worst time in their lives, when theyare ill, frightened and most vulnerable, they also have to seek secondopinions on biopsies and therapy, fight with insurers and sort outcomplex treatment options," the Times reports.


Althoughcancer mortality rates have decreased over the past 15 years, manyexperts have raised concerns that a large number of patients receiveinadequate treatment. "Mistakes in care can be fatal with this disease,and yet some people do not receive enough treatment, while othersreceive too much or the wrong kind," the Times reports.Cancer patients in rural areas or smaller cities, as well aslower-income patients, are more likely to receive inadequate treatmentbecause they often lack access to physicians who have experience with"rarer kinds of tumors, complicated operations or advanced stages ofthe disease," according to the Times (Grady [1], New York Times, 7/29).

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