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The Cost of Hope: A Candid Roundtable Discussion

Amanda Bennett, Ronald M. Bukowski, Keith Flaherty, J. Cameron Muir, Craig D. Turner, and Sam Donaldson

For Amanda Bennett and her husband Terence Foley, a 7-year battle with kidney cancer resulted in a price tag of more than $600,000, most of it spent in the final 2 years of his life. Ms. Bennett’s memoir, The Cost of Hope, chronicles the couple’s emotional struggle and the financial irrationality she uncovered when navigating the cancer continuum. She shared her experience in her keynote address at the NCCN 18th Annual Conference, which was followed by a roundtable discussion in which panelists discussed the difficulties inherent in dealing with cancer “uncertainties,” the balancing act that seeks to maintain hope in the context of a poor prognosis, and the problem of a health care system that spends too much on some aspects of care while ignoring others.