Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

Cost of Cancer Care

A recent news brief from the American Society of Clinical Oncology[1] was about the skyrocketing costs of cancer care. The author was discussing the cost of cancer care for people with sickness insurance, mind you. Dr. Thomas J Smith is quoted as saying: “The costs of cancer care are rising at an unsustainable rate, and the quality and value of the care is often suboptimal … Insurance premiums have doubled over the past decade, as have out-of-pocket patient costs. These unsustainable costs have resulted in 1 million health-related bankruptcies in the United States this year alone.”

Why in the world do we have so-called “health” insurance, if we still go bankrupt when we become ill?

An article published in Newsweek in August 2012[2] says: “According to figures from insurer United Healthcare, a standard cocktail of drugs for treating lung cancer used to run about $1,000 a month. Today’s regimens cost from more than $6,000 to almost $10,000-for about two more months of life.” The same article talks about the minimal extension of life - as little as two months longer median survival is considered to be a “success”, a great “break-through”. There is no mention of the quality of life, whether it is good, or whether it’s just miserable life full of side effects from the additional chemo treatments.

Patients who decide on treatment using integrative modalities and insulin potentiated chemotherapy (IPT) end up paying about as much as they would pay if they did conventional treatment, because of the deductibles, drugs not covered by their insurance, tests not covered by their insurance, etc. Their outcomes are no worse - and sometimes significantly better. Their quality of life is always significantly better.

Average cost of an IPT regimen (including the integrative aspects of the regimen outlined in the next paragraph) is approximately $50-60,000.00. The cost may be greater or less, depending on the cost of the chemotherapeutic agents (some are very expensive even in the small doses that we use for IPT) and whether “health” insurance covers the cost of some of the Xrays, surgical procedures (e.g. chest port insertion, drainage of fluid from the lungs or the abdomen) and routine lab work.

In addition to IPT chemotherapy, we also do many other treatments to help to support the immune system, clean up the diet and the intestinal tract, using supplements and botanical medicines to fill in nutritional potholes and restore good metabolic function. We help our patients to locate and clear out any unfinished business they may have, on all levels, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, in order to remove any potential blocks to healing. We provide our patients with a sense of community, and interaction with others who are also facing health challenges.

The cost of such comprehensive care is what it is. The value of such care is priceless.

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