Report: Nation may soon face shortage of cancer doctors

Mar 12, 2014, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

PHOENIX — According to a new report, the nation may soon face a shortage of nearly 1,500 doctors to treat cancer.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology said demand for cancer treatments will grow by at least 42 percent by 2025, while the number of oncologists will only increase 28 percent.

“The shortages might have many different origins, not the least is which is that cancer is a disease that is more common as we age,” said Dr. Ruben Mesa, an oncologist with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.

For example, Baby Boomers are getting older and now reaching retirement age.

“With the aging of the population, the sheer number of cancer patients will continue to grow significantly,” Mesa explained.

Mesa also said that Maricopa County has numerous medical facilities that deal with cancer, so it shouldn’t face any shortages, but he is concerned about other parts of Arizona.

“Trying to provide state of the art, complicated surgical techniques for removing cancer, complicated radiation treatments that offer the latest in new therapies and new drugs (will be a challenge),” Mesa said. “I do think that the challenges, particularly in more rural Arizona, will continue to ratchet up.”

He believes that in the future, primary care physicians and physicians assistants may have to handle basic cancer treatments so that oncologists can deal with more serious cases.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Taste of the NFL)...
Alex Weiner

Taste of the NFL comes to Phoenix as Super Bowl’s largest culinary, philanthropic event

Taste of the NFL is an event ahead of the Super Bowl that will bring gourmet food, 30 chefs and live entertainment to the Valley on Feb. 11.
9 hours ago
John Mayer performs onstage during HFC's 10th Birthday Extravaganza hosted by Seth Rogen and Lauren...
KTAR.com

John Mayer hits road on solo acoustic tour with spring stop in Phoenix

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter John Mayer is tuning up for his first solo acoustic tour, which will make a stop in Phoenix in the spring.
9 hours ago
(File Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix construction industry hungry for workers, experience not required

Direct experience isn't necessary to build a career in the local construction industry, which is dealing with a worker shortage.
9 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix water conservation program needs volunteers to work with community

A conservation program overseen by the city of Phoenix is looking for volunteers to help spread the word about smart water usage.
1 day ago
Students and teachers from East High School in Salt Lake City walk out of school to protest the HB1...
Associated Press

Pandemic restrictions, curriculum battles emboldened ‘school choice’ policy push

The debates have inflamed teachers’ unions and resurfaced concerns about efforts to gradually privatize public education.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

St. Mary’s Food Bank accepting citrus donations through April

It is citrus season for the St. Mary’s Food Bank, and donations are being accepted at both locations through April 30.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Report: Nation may soon face shortage of cancer doctors