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Our Aims and Positions

Insight into Patient Access to Care in Cancer

Insight into Patient Access to Care in Cancer


The Cancer Support Community is at the forefront of the patient-centered movement in cancer care. Our social and emotional support, wellness and educational programs help more than 1 million people impacted by cancer each year. Our Research and Training Institute provides the framework for our efforts by testing and refining our programs, highlighting the needs of our members and ensuring that all its research is translated into patient-centered, evidence-based practice and made publicly available to the cancer community at large. As a result, today the Cancer Support Community is a leading expert on the cancer patient experience throughout the care continuum. CSC is leading the movement on the impact of psychosocial care on improving medical outcomes, creating a better patient experience and even, ultimately, reducing the cost of cancer care.

More people are living longer with cancer than ever before: the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. today is over 13.7 million; that number is expected to increase to 18 million in the next 10 years. In fact, 41% of Americans are expected to receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, which translates to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men. In the current health care system, psychosocial needs often go unrecognized or untreated. Studies have shown that psychosocial care can improve health outcomes and potentially reduce the cost of care. Through the Cancer Policy Institute, we work with our advisors and friends to advance the mandate that comprehensive, quality cancer care includes medical care and social and emotional care. And we fight tirelessly to ensure that all people with cancer have access to high quality, affordable, comprehensive care. We are excited to advance our mission by advocating on behalf of all people impacted by cancer so that the voices of 13.7 million cancer survivors and their families are heard in our nation’s capital and in state and local legislatures across the country.

CPI Policy Pillars

The work of the CPI is driven by the following policy pillars, which are centered around the values, needs, and preferences of individuals impacted by cancer:


Individuals impacted by cancer must have access to health care insurance coverage and services. Health care policy should include robust patient protections and barriers to care must consistently be addressed and overcome in the best interests of the patient.


Individuals impacted by cancer must be able to afford to purchase and maintain their health insurance coverage and prescription medications. Particular attention should be paid to individuals from historically underserved communities and those living in poverty.

Comprehensive Care

Individuals impacted by cancer must have access to a full range of health and cancer care services including but not limited to services related to prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, and hospice. This includes psychosocial distress screening and social and emotional support services.

Equity & Non-Discrimination

Individuals impacted by cancer must receive equitable treatment and should not be discriminated against based on any personal characteristic. Cancer patients and survivors should not be denied coverage, face annual or lifetime limits, or charged higher premiums or exorbitant out-of-pocket costs.

Research Infrastructure

Individuals impacted by cancer benefit from policy and regulatory priorities that are evidence-based. A strong research foundation is necessary to continue to advance innovative screening and diagnostic tools, therapies, and supportive care solutions. This requires predictable, sustainable, and adequate funding for our nation’s research infrastructure.

Patient-Driven Care

Individuals impacted by cancer must be at the center of their care, working with the full health care team in a shared decision making process which aligns with the patient’s values, needs, and preferences.

Patient Education

Individuals impacted by cancer should have access to appropriate, evidence-based information from necessary for them to make personalized choices regarding their health. This information should come from diverse data sources that both inform the scientific literature and reflect real-world evidence.

Patient Experience Data

Research and clinical approaches to care must include not only physical but also psychosocial data that captures the full patient experience. This information should inform the way we analyze, measure, value, and pay for cancer care in the United States.


Individuals impacted by cancer must be able to utilize high-quality health services that are effective, efficient, and safe.


Individuals impacted by cancer must be at the center of discussions and decisions regarding cancer care value. Patient voices are equally as important as those of any other stakeholder.

These Aims & Positions are the pilars and values that guide the work of the CPI. Learn more about the priority legislative and regulatory issues that the CPI works on that are driven by these values by exploring the Policy & Advocacy Resources.

Policy & Advocacy Resources