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Financial Impact Associated With Colorectal Cancer Care


Medical experts discuss the financial impact of early detection in colorectal cancer.

Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA, emphasizes the importance of early detection, tailored interventions, and the associated costs in treating colorectal cancer. He highlights the financial burdens on patients, health care systems, and payers, pointing out the expenses linked to hospitalizations, surgeries, and long-term treatment.

David Fenstermacher, PhD, delves into the economic impact of metastatic colorectal cancer. He mentions that in 2020, approximately $22 billion was spent on colorectal cancer care, making it the second most costly cancer type after female breast cancer. Dr Fenstermacher emphasizes the need to reduce financial toxicity and discusses the high costs of biomarker testing, genetics analysis, and the overall economic burden on both insured and uninsured patients.

Ben George, MD, highlights the importance of early detection and prevention, emphasizing that if patients receive a diagnosis of cancer at a late stage, it results in significant financial and systemic toxicity. Early detection in stages 1 and 2 can lead to a 90% cure rate, underlining the value of identifying high-risk individuals through genetic risk scores.

John L. Marshall, MD, offers a controversial perspective on screening. He argues that the current screening methods are invasive, expensive, and lack the high sensitivity and specificity required for early detection. Dr Marshall questions whether the increased incidence of colorectal cancer from these screenings ultimately leads to more cures, and he calls for a more cost-effective and noninvasive approach to screening.

The discussion revolves around the challenges of early detection and the financial burdens associated with colorectal cancer care, with a focus on seeking innovative ways to enhance screening, reduce financial toxicity, and improve outcomes for patients.

Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by AJMC editorial staff.

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