publication date: Jun. 10, 2016

ASCO Annual Meeting 2016

Vose: “Are We Ready To Care For These Patients? 


Julie Vose, outgoing president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, addressed the opening session of the society’s annual meeting in Chicago, discussing the themes of her year in office, the coming changes in federal cancer research and Medicare reimbursement, and the progress made over the society’s past 52 years.

Examining trends in incidence and demands on the workforce, Vose asked if the oncology community is prepared to handle a larger population of people with cancer in the future.

“Here at home, while cancer incidence in the U.S. has declined over the last decades, the overall number of cancer cases has not,” she said. “Due to the aging of the U.S. population, the total number of patients with cancer continues to rise. Over the next few decades, we can expect what has been described as a tsunami of cancer patients due to this effect.”

“The question must be asked: Are we ready to care for these patients?”

Vose compared changes in the doctor-patient relationship since the 1960s, when many people refused to talk about cancer: “In answer to a questionnaire administered in 1961—just three years before the first ASCO meeting—fully 90 percent of responding physicians indicated a preference for not telling a cancer patient his diagnosis. Imagine 90 percent of us here today being reluctant to tell our patients the disease they were facing!”

Continue reading 42-23 ASCO President Vose: “Are We Ready To Care For These Patients?

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