Breast Cancer Treatment Costs Vary Wildly, Study Finds

It should have been a no-brainer — a routine test to confirm that a 50-something teacher was now, pilule officially, pharm a breast cancer survivor. But the patient balked.

The surprise encounter got Dr. Sharon Giordano curious and she embarked on a study that has found that the cost of cancer treatment varies wildly, medical with no apparent rhyme or reason.

The variation adds up to $1 billion a year that insurance companies, patients and government health plans are needlessly paying to treat breast cancer, Giordano and colleagues at the MD Anderson Cancer Center report on Monday in the journal Cancer. Patients often get stuck with thousands of dollars in bills that can take years to pay off.

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