In the spirit of ‘do no harm’ and reducing healthcare costs, the American Society of Clinical Oncology has come up with a list of unnecessary cancer tests and treatments. Expect more details in the coming days. The four are (could only count 4 in the article!):
- Reduce unnecessary CT, PET, other imaging or bone scans for patients who have been successfully treated for breast cancer and who show no further symptoms of cancer
- No use of CT, PET, other imaging or bone scans to determine the precise stage of both early breast and prostate cancers at low risk for metastasis
- No further chemotherapy for patients with advanced cancers who are unlikely to benefit
- Reduced use of drugs to stimulate white blood cell production in patients receiving chemotherapy if they have a risk of febrile neutropedia (low immunity, drugs such as Neulasta and Neupogen)
Guidelines will be formally announced today so more details will be available.
Good initiative on both quality of life and cost effectiveness grounds.