People who survive cancer are less likely to receive necessary care for a wide range of other non-cancer-related medical problems according to a new study published September 13, 2004 in the online edition of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study suggests that a history of cancer may cause health care providers to ignore other chronic medical ailments, such as heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, and lung disease. The abstract of this article will be freely accessible via the CANCER News Room.
Thanks in part to improved survival rates, the number of people in the U.S. with a history of cancer is well over 9.6 million and expected to rise. As cancer survivors grow older, not only do they have to be vigilant about monitoring for relapse, but they are also vulnerable to the same common chronic ailments that afflict aging Americans, such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and other cancers.
While previous studies have shown that cancer survivors have more contact with physicians, there is little evidence that this translates into adequate care for non-cancer-related health care diseases. In fact, studies show cancer survivors who see only their primary care doctor are less likely to receive even recommended cancer screening tests.
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