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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: December 2009

1 - Introduction to Outcomes Assessment in Cancer

    • By Joseph Lipscomb, Professor of Public Health Emory University (Atlanta, GA, USA); Formerly Chief of the Outcomes Research Branch within the Applied Research Program of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD, USA), Carolyn C. Gotay, Professor within the Cancer Research Center of Hawai'i University of Hawai'i (Honolulu, HI, USA), Claire Snyder, National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD, USA)
  • Edited by Joseph Lipscomb, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, Carolyn C. Gotay, Claire Snyder, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • DOI:
  • pp 1-13


Understanding how a disease and its associated health care interventions affect the lives of individuals is important whatever the medical condition, but especially so for diseases that are chronic or incurable and for which treatments often have toxic and long-lasting consequences. For this reason, cancer provides an exceptionally compelling model for examining the impact of disease on individual well-being. It is the second leading cause of death in the US, with one out of every four deaths in 2004 (over 560 000 in total) projected to be attributable to cancer. Many more individuals (an estimated 9.6 million in 2000) will be undergoing cancer treatment, coping with progressive disease, or living cancer-free in the aftermath of diagnosis and treatment.

The principal means of treating cancer — surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation — are powerful and toxic. All of these treatments, and additional ones like hormonal therapy, have side effects, which may be short-term or time-limited, or chronic and persistent, or else generate late effects emerging only after treatment is completed and sometimes not evident until many years later. Efforts to prevent, screen for, and treat cancer are all aimed at maximizing the chances for a healthy life while, at the same time, minimizing the associated side effects. In addition to its mortality and morbidity impact, cancer inflicts an enormous economic burden on society.

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Hambleton, this volume, Chapter 22
Reise, this volume, Chapter 21
Wilson, this volume, Chapter 23
Gotay, Lipscomb, this volume, Chapter 26
Ferrans, this volume, Chapter 2
Revicki, this volume, Chapter 27
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Erickson, this volume, Chapter 3
Feeny, this volume, Chapter 4
Ganz, Goodwin, this volume, Chapter 5
Litwin, Talcott, this volume, Chapter 6
Earle, Weeks, this volume, Chapter 7
Moinpour, Provenzale, this volume, Chapter 8
Barry, Dancey, this volume, Chapter 9
Mandelblatt, Selby, this volume, Chapter 10
Zebrack, Cella, this volume, Chapter 11
Ferrell, this volume, Chapter 12
Williams, this volume, Chapter 13
Darby, this volume, Chapter 14
Gustafson, this volume, Chapter 15
Snyder, this volume, Chapter 16
Fairclough, this volume, Chapter 17
Sloan, this volume, Chapter 18
Osoba, this volume, Chapter 19
Aaronson, this volume, Chapter 20
Hornbrook, this volume, Chapter 24
O'Brien, this volume, Chapter 25
Gotay, Lipscomb, Snyder, this volume, Chapter 28
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Willis, Reeve, Barofsky, this volume, Invited Paper C
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