Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Now, a tool to predict financial pain from cancer

Named COST (Comprehensive Score for financial Toxicity), the tool comprises 11 questions, assembled and refined from conversations with more than 150 patients with advanced cancer. Source: Thinkstock Images Named COST (Comprehensive Score for financial Toxicity), the tool comprises 11 questions, assembled and refined from conversations with more than 150 patients with advanced cancer. Source: Thinkstock Images
By: Indo-Asian News Service | New York | Posted: June 23, 2014 12:07 pm

Along with distress that comes with cancer diagnosis and the discomfort of treatment, more patients now have to deal with “financial toxicity”, the expense, anxiety and loss of confidence confronting those who face large, unpredictable costs.

Researchers have now developed a tool to measure a patient’s risk for, and ability to tolerate, financial stress that comes with cancer.

Named COST (Comprehensive Score for financial Toxicity), the tool comprises 11 questions, assembled and refined from conversations with more than 150 patients with advanced cancer.

“A few physicians discuss this increasingly significant side effect with their patients,” said Jonas de Souza, head-and-neck cancer specialist at University of Chicago Department of Medicine in the US.

“We believe that a thoughtful, concise tool that could help predict a patient’s risk for financial toxicity might open the lines of communication. This gives us a way to launch that discussion,” de Souza added.

Explaining the utility of the tool, he noted, “If patients know what to expect, they may want their physicians to consider less costly medications.”

The findings appeared in the journal Cancer.

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