As a society, we have made amazing gains in being able to detect and treat cancer. Even so, about half the people who are told by their doctors that they have cancer will die within a few years. This means that every year about one million people find out that they have cancer and are treated, and about one-half million people die of cancer nationwide. So far, most cancer research and treatment has focused on trying to cure cancer. There hasn't been much attention paid to other important issues, such as pain control and taking care of other troubling symptoms. Now more and more people are aware that there are cancer care needs beyond just trying to cure it. Attention is now being paid to helping people with cancer cope better with the problems that may arise when people are being treated or as they approach death.
National Research Council
1 Improving Palliative Care: We Can Take Better Care of People with Cancer
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