Delivery of cancer care in the U.S. is facing a crisis stemming from a combination of factors — a growing demand for such care, a shrinking oncology work force, rising costs of cancer care, and the complexity of the disease and its treatment, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The report recommends ways to respond to these challenges and improve cancer care delivery, including by strengthening clinicians’ core competencies in caring for patients with cancer, shifting to team-based models of care, and communicating more effectively with patients.

“Most clinicians caring for cancer patients are trying to provide optimal care, but they’re finding it increasingly difficult because of a range of barriers,” Patricia Ganz, chair of the committee that wrote the report and a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine and School of Public Health, said in a statement announcing the report's release. "As a nation we need to chart a new course for cancer care. Changes are needed across the board, from how we communicate with patients, to how we translate research into practice, to how we coordinate care and measure its quality.”

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