By 2030, cancer will be the nation’s leading cause of death.
With that in mind, the American Society of Clinical Oncology is coming to terms with problems in the nation’s cancer care systems through its report “The State of Cancer Care in America.”
The society’s Dr. Blase Polite says high among the problems is a shrinking availability of care, ”70 percent of counties in this country have no cancer specialists in them, and that’s the current situation. Our concern is that things are going to get worse going forward.”
He says that’s especially significant since the nation’s population is aging, meaning an increasing incidence of the disease, while the cancer treatment workforce is shrinking, “Our concern is that in the next five to ten years, as many as 400-thousand cancer patients may have trouble finding an oncology.”
Ironically, it’s a problem that is growing as cancer treatments become more effective.