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:*

Mobile App to Deliver Marijuana and Alcohol


By Belinda Cai and Ashley Tseng
10/23/14 | 11:52 a.m. PDT

With the help of a new mobile app, Nestdrop, users can now get medical marijuana and alcohol delievered straight to...

Hundreds Protest Police Brutality in Downtown LA


By Christina Cameron
10/22/14 | 4:44 p.m. PDT

Hundreds of people protested throughout Downtown LA on Wednesday as part of National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. 

Students Propose House For USC's Black Community

Caroline's Athlete Spotlight

Closing Arguments in Bolden Trial

Family Reacts to Death of 7-year-old Boy Killed By Ice Cream Truck

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

Plattenburg: "Do Something Great"


By dishak and Connor McGlynn
10/18/14 | 9:14 p.m. PDT

USC CB John Plattenburg discussed his emotions following his first career start for the Trojans against the Buffaloes.

Trojan Marching Band Ranked No. 1 in College Football


By Sana S. Ahmed
10/22/14 | 11:04 a.m. PDT

USC's Spirit of Troy tops a nationwide list of the most entertaining bands in college football.