We all want to believe that when people get cancer, they will receive medical care of the highest quality. Even as new scientific breakthroughs are announced, though, many cancer patients may be getting the wrong care, too little care, or too much care, in the form of unnecessary procedures.
How close is American medicine to the ideal of quality cancer care for every person with cancer? Ensuring Quality Cancer Care provides a comprehensive picture of how cancer care is delivered in our nation, from early detection to end-of-life issues. The National Cancer Policy Board defines quality care and recommends how to monitor, measure, and extend quality care to all people with cancer. Approaches to accountability in health care are reviewed.
What keeps people from getting care? The book explains how lack of medical coverage, social and economic status, patient beliefs, physician decision-making, and other factors can stand between the patient and the best possible care. The board explores how cancer care is shaped by the current focus on evidence-based medicine, the widespread adoption of managed care, where services are provided, and who provides care. Specific shortfalls in the care of breast and prostate cancer are identified. A status report on health services research is included.