Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Top Stories

USC Study Examines Risk and Reward for Cancer Patients

USC study finds that most prefer to live longer, no matter what the treatment risks.

A new study published in a special edition of the journal Health Affairs found that for patients, the priority in cancer treatment tends to be living as long as possible.

Darius Lakdawalla, director of research at the Shaeffer Center at USC and associate professor at USC's Price School of Public Policy, headed the study.

Lakdawalla and his staff analyzed 150 patients currently going through treatment for cancer and discovered that 77 percent would prefer treatments that "offer a 50/50 chance of either adding three years or no additional survival" than those that would guarantee eighteen months of survival.

The study challenges conventional wisdom about what patients care about in terms of treatment.

Outside groups that play important roles in treatment, such as insurance companies, "have generally assumed that patients care about the average gain in survival...but patients facing a fatal disease with relatively short remaining life expectancy may have less to lose, and be more willing to swing for the fences," Lakdawalla said.

The special issue of Health Affairs contains several more studies that examine the relationship between spending and treatment.

One study even steps outside of the United States, comparing lifespans of American cancer patients with those of Europeans.

The studies could help open a new platform of discussion among patients, relatives, insurance companies, government agencies and others about what should be prioritized in the process of treatment.

RELATED:

USC Researchers Find New Cancer-Causing Virus

Study: Energy Demand to Increase

COMMENTS
Leave a comment
Name:
E-mail:*
URL:
Comments:*

The Tease: April 17, 2014


By ATVN
04/17/14 | 5:38 p.m. PDT

X-Men director faces molestation charges; a new planet was discovered; and the owner of Irwindale's Sriracha factory may relocate --...

'Suspicious' Easter Candy Prompts Post Office Evacuation


By ATVN
04/17/14 | 1:24 p.m. PDT

Fire and police crews responded to the incident, which also prompted temporary road closures.

Toa Lobendahn "It's A Great Trojan Family"

Jordan Austin "It's the Best Decision I've Made"

Claude Pelon "I Wanna Be the Next Great"

Weather 04/17/14

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.
MOST POPULAR

Disgraced Bell Admin Rizzo: 12 Years in Prison


By Kayla Colin
04/16/14 | 9:47 a.m. PDT

"I am very, very sorry," Rizzo told the court before his sentencing.

New Branch of Northgate Market Opens in South Los Angeles


By Tiffany Taylor
04/14/14 | 9:43 a.m. PDT

The new Northgate Gonzalez Market will provide healthier, fresher food options and more jobs for the community.