Rochester, Minnesota - The development of new cancer drugs is essential as progress moves forward in cancer treatments.

Great advances have been made with lower death rates, increased survival and improved quality of life. However, the cost can be an added burden. The average price of cancer drugs for a year is estimated to exceed $100,000.

A group of 118 leading cancer experts, including Drs. Ayalew Tefferi and S. Vincent Rajkumar and others from Mayo Clinic, are taking a stand against the high cost. They're part of a grassroots effort voicing their opinion and demanding action.

These cancer leaders published an article in August's "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" calling for action including new regulations to control the high cost of cancer drugs. It received widespread coverage in the national media.

Their primary concern is that the cost is having a negative effect on patient care and placing a large burden on the health system. In the United States, we pay 50 percent to 100 percent more for the same drug as patients in other countries around the world.

The group voiced their support for the patient-based, grassroots movement on that advocates for the fight against high cancer drug prices. They're trying to gain the attention of pharmaceutical companies and elected officials.

As a patient, you may experience the stress and burden of financing cancer treatment costs. Even if you have health insurance, your out-of-pocket expenses may be as much as $25,000 to $30,000 a year.

You may have to make difficult decisions on how to pay for cancer treatment, forgoing treatment in order to provide for your family needs. The report says up to 20 percent of cancer patients don't take their treatment as prescribed. This may be in part due to cost.