Care vs. Cost: How Much Is Too Much to Treat Cancer?

"You have cancer." These dreaded words are heard by more than a million Americans each year. From that point on, doctors and patients embark on the long process of therapy, trying to decide the best course of treatment. But while oncologists are able to discuss such painful matters as prognosis with their patients, they still shy away from discussing the issue of cost. Yet cost often influences physicians' treatment recommendations, finds a recent survey published in Health Affairs magazine.