Health News for Senior Citizens

 

Health News for Seniors

Half of elderly colorectal cancer patients receiving wasted treatment

Treatments increase, cost skyrockets, results minimal for those 75 and older; those 65-74 did better

Patient being wheeled in for treatmentFeb. 29, 2016 – During a recent 10-year period the rate of metastatic colorectal cancer patients older than age 75 receiving three or more treatments increased from 2 percent to 53 percent. The cost of treatment for one year increased, however, by 32 percent to $2.2 billion. Unfortunately, the median survival for these elderly patients increased by only one month.

"In addition, these newer therapies carry more toxicities than many of the older therapies. These patients may get sicker and it costs them a lot of money with almost no survival benefit," says first author Cathy J. Bradley, PhD, associate director for Population Science Research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor in the Colorado School of Public Health.

The study was published online ahead of print in the journal Medical Care

The data included results from over 20,000 Medicare patients with metastatic colon or rectal cancer between the years 2000 and 2009.

The study examined the percentage of these patients treated with chemotherapy or a target agent (bevacizumab). These agents have shown survival benefit in younger patients and those with earlier stage disease.

For example, the current study showed gain in overall survival of about 8 months in patients aged 65-74. However, this same benefit was not evident in patients older than age 75 whose cancer had spread.

"Doctors and patients come to a point where none of the standard therapies have worked and so they're willing to take a risk because there are no other treatment options available. They decide to give newly approved therapies a try despite there being no solid evidence for their use in these older low life-expectancy patients," Bradley says.

In addition to demonstrating an overall cost increase of 32 percent in colon cancer and 20 percent in rectal cancer, the paper shows that much of this additional cost is borne by the patients.

Specifically, patients paid approximately $16,000 in out-of-pocket costs for care in 2009, compared with $11,000 in 2000.

Patients not treated with chemotherapy paid on average less than $5,000 in the 12 months following diagnosis. (For example, treatment with oxaliplatin cost $11,593 during the study, while treatment with common combination 5-FU/leucovorin cost $1,028.)

In addition to the direct costs of these chemotherapies, these agents require supportive medicines to assist patients in coping with side effects and also incur additional hospital inpatient and outpatient charges.

"No one wants to give up. It's hard for anyone to say they've had enough," Bradley says. "However, in these situations palliative care may be a good option."

The study closes by stating rather bluntly, "Taken together, multiagent regimens may not be of high value in terms of costs and survival for older mCRC patients."

 

Messages for Seniors

Put Your Message Here

Only Daily News

Site for Senior Citizens

Click for Information, Buy


Put Your Message Here

Only Daily News

Site for Senior Citizens

Click for Information, Buy


Nursing Home Abuse?
Contact a Lawyer

Years of Experience
JanicekLaw.com


Put Your Message Here

Only Daily News

Site for Senior Citizens

Click for Information, Buy


Senior Journal Advertising

Related Health News from Senior Journal Archives

Older adults with history of fainting double risk of vehicle crash

Study of patients with average age of 66

Feb. 29, 2016

More at Health Section Page

 

 

 

> Medical Malpractice,

> Nursing Home Abuse,

> Personal Injury

Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help

Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney"We win because we care, we prepare and we have no fear," Beth Janicek, board certified personal injury attorney

 

Free Consultation on your case.

Call Now Toll Free

1-877-795-3425

or Send Email

More at our Website

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com