IOM report calls for action to address cancer care challenges

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An Institute of Medicine committee today issued recommendations for improving U.S. cancer care delivery, from diagnosis through end-of-life care, in the face of growing demand for services, a shrinking oncology workforce and rising costs. The report recommends actions to support patient decision-making; an adequately staffed, trained and coordinated workforce; evidence-based care; real-time analysis of patient data; translation of evidence into practice; outcomes measurement; performance improvement; and accessible and affordable care. As the population ages, the report estimates U.S. cancer incidence will increase 45% by 2030 to 2.3 million new diagnoses per year. “Age is one of the strongest risk factors for cancer, and there are many important considerations to understanding older adults with cancers’ prognoses and formulating their care plans, such as altered physiology, functional and cognitive impairment, multiple coexisting morbidities, increased side effects of treatment, distinct goals of care, and the increased importance of social support,” the report notes.

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