Patient Quality of Life

ACS CAN advocates for policies that improve the lives of cancer patients by making treatment of their pain and other symptoms and coordination of their care standard protocol throughout their treatment for cancer, starting at the point of diagnosis.


Patient Quality of Life Resources:

Our latest survey finds that protecting no-cost screenings and preventive care and reducing the burden of medical debt are the most impotant priorities for cancer patients and survivors. This survey also explores the impacts of cancer on food and nutrition insecurity, with impacts felt across income groups and coverage levels.

The nation’s drug shortage crisis continues to affect cancer patients and survivors with 1 in every 10 (10%) reporting impacts to care, a majority of whom have had difficulties finding substitute medications (68%) and cited treatment delays (45%).

A recent survey of cancer patients and survivors finds that more than half experienced greater isolation as a result of their cancer diagnosis (52%) and treatment (57%), and the vast majority (89%) agree it would be helpful for friends and loved ones to have training in how best to support cancer patients.

Each person has a slightly different inherited genetic makeup that can cause different people to have different responses to the same drug. These differences may impact the effectiveness of a drug or the side effects a person may experience. Our latest survey explores concerns about drug reactions and awareness of PGx testing to help better understand a patient's potential drug response.

This table lists key studies and review articles that examine the effect that the addition of palliative care has on overall patient costs. While results vary, the addition of palliative care typically either reduces overall costs or is cost neutral.

Our latest survey finds that female cancer patients are less satisfied with the quality of their cancer care than male cancer patients and are more likely to report that their symptoms were not taken seriously and that they had to prove their symptoms to providers.

ACS CAN submitted comments regarding the Proposed 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids. While we support certain changes in the Guideline - including a clearer exemption for cancer patients and patients receiving palliative care - we continue to have concerns about the misapplication of this and the previous Guideline. 

ACS CAN supports balanced policies that address the public health concerns relevant to the opioid epidemic,  that do not harm patient access to  medications that they need to treat pain appropriately. 

In August-September 2019, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) — through its Survivor Views Project  — conducted a survey of cancer patients and survivors to determine whether they were asking for and getting appropriate palliative care treatment.